Psion is sick of hearing about other companies’ netbooks. It’ll even cease and desist you if you talk about them, according to reports.
This is because it used to make a miniature laptop called the Netbook, and still owns a trademark on the term. Its machine was cool, in the way that pricey ultra-mobile computers always are, but not a hit with consumers. It was similar to the NEC MobilePro, HP Jornada, and other machines from the “glory days” of instant-on Windows CE Pocket PCs.
A few years on, it’s nonetheless antsy about the world using it as a generic term to refer to cheap little laptops. Following is one of the missives from its legal firm, which I’m not 100 percent convinced is real.
Companies often feel forced to send these letters, even if they have no intention of pursuing action: it’s necessary to defend a trademark.
Thing is, of course, is that Psion isn’t doing anything with the trademark. It now makes ultra-rugged cellphones and vehicle-mount computers under different names. Psion’s lack of recent Netbooks – you won’t easily find reference to the thing on its own website – would seem a textbook example of how to let a trademark fall into generic usage. Perhaps this is a hint of a new consumer product? It’s IKON was a nice piece of kit.