Smartbook is a Trademark *Update*

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29 Aug, 2009 5:53 pm

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So here we go again. It seems that the german company Smartbook has the trademark and copyright on the term “smartbook” and like the Psion/Intel netbook issue, these guys are choosing the same way of communicating with bloggers and webmasters. Yesterday i got a letter from a german lawyer telling me, that i have 2 weeks to get rid of the term smartbook on Netbooknews.de and Netbooknews.com.

What is going on overhere? Why are these guys (like Psion before) not going after Freescale, ARM and Qualcomm? I am a blogger and i am just writing about their devices and they call them Smartbooks! This is not my fault. I am reporting and nothing else!

Update: I did some more research and yes, they do have a trademark on the term Smartbook and they even sell a device. What is really confusing is the fact, that they also want me to get rid of this term on Netbooknews.com, whish is an english site, hosted in the US.

It’s also interesting to see, that these lawyers are even pointing out, that i am using the term for a productclass which is (amongst others) getting promoted by Qualcomm Inc. and that i am harming the reputation and credibility of the Smartbook AG. To be honest, i am sitting on front of computers since 1981 and i never ever heard of a company called Smartbook AG or of any of their products.

Update2: Now it’s getting interesting.

– Original –

Press Release of the SMARTBOOK AG

SMARTBOOK AG with temporary restraining order against Qualcomm Inc. and Qualcomm CDMA.

The Smartbook AG obtained at the District Court Cologne a restraining order against the Qualcomm Incorporated, San Diego, and the Qualcomm CDMA Technologies GmbH, Munich. In the case of non-compliance, a fine is due of EUR 250,000.00, alternatively an arrest for contempt of court.

Cologne, September 2009: To protect their registered trademarks, the Smartbook AG obtained by means of the law office WILDE.Rechtsanwälte in Cologne a restraining order at the District Court Cologne, which interdicts Qualcomm to use the name SMARTBOOK in Germany.

In this order (District Court Cologne, Reference No. 31 O 482/09), the court states in extracts:

Qualcomm Inc. as well as Qualcomm CDMA “are not authorized to use without approval of the Smartbook AG the character sequence ’Smartbook’ in all notations in association with mobile computers – such as laptops (notebooks) – in the context of business communications expressed in technically retrievable Internet offers in the area of the Federal Republic of Germany without providing information that in the region of the Federal Republic of Germany any usage of the sign ’Smartbook’ in association with mobile computers is exclusively reserved to the SMARTBOOK AG.“

According to this resolution, a fine of up to EUR 250,000.00 applies – alternatively an arrest for contempt of court – in the case of a non-compliance.

“Internet sites of the Qualcomm Inc. such as www.hellosmartbook.com and Internet sites of the German branch office Qualcomm CDMA GmbH, which refer to the US website of the Qualcomm Inc., were already blocked for users with a German IP address“, according to Dirk Pick, CEO of the Smartbook AG.

„We are confronted with an almost absurd but at the same time bold attack against our brand name.

It is Qualcomm who forced us to implement defensive measures. We will protect our brand.“

The SMARTBOOK AG can be contacted at:

SMARTBOOK AG

Im Mediapark 8

D-50670 Köln

thanks a lot to JKOnTheRun.com for the info.

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Update: The Smartbook trademark case is getting really scary now cause it seems that the german Smartbook AG registered this trademark now in various countries all over the globe! Back in August 2009 only german bloggers and websites got these emails we mentioned earlier but now their lawyer is sending mass-emails to various international blogs and websites that are using the term Smartbook! We just got this document form our friends from Tweaktown.com, who are totally confused at the moment.

It’s getting even more interesting, when we take a look at the Twitter account of the Smartbook AG, because on the 23rd of November they sent out this Tweet: which leads to this PDF.

Out of a sudden the Smartbook AG is releasing new 10 and 12inch devices ( even a $2800 10inch netbook!) and they claim to have a trademark for the name Smartbook in a bunch of new countries, something they never communicated to the public before and as you know, we never heard from these guys in the last 3 months. Pretty weird, that these guys are now contacting international IT-journalists and bloggers after they announced their “international growth”.

Let’s face it. The website of the Smartbook AG is ranked around position 700k on Alexa.com means they will get a couple of dozen readers a day. Noone even in Germany knew them before, so it seems that at the end of the day it will be all about the benjamins. Seems like Psion is their role model ;)

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http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/www.smartbook.de

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