JK On The Run writes that Google will no longer accept ads that use the term "netbook." Psion asserts its trademark on the term, adopted by Intel and others to refer generically to the latest generation of cheap subnotebooks.
Psion let us know that Google has investigated the trademark claim and determined that “netbook” is indeed a protected trademark. Google does these investigations as they are impacted when they run ads on their network. The determination by Google that the term “netbook” is duly registered and protected has prompted them to inform their ad customers that the term can no longer be used in Google ads.
It's easy to assume that the term, already in wide currency by people who never even heard of the Psion Netbook, is already doomed to genericide. But unlike patent trolls and other IP scum, Prion did make a netbook called The Netbook and still sells parts for it. It put money (and manufacturing) where its mouth was.
You'll notice how all along, many netbook makers never called their netbook a netbook. Dell never calls the Mini 9 a netbook. AMD calls them "mini-notebooks," and an exec there told me that it expects most analysts will do likewise. Asus folks will refer to Eee PCs as netbooks, but only casually, in person: it even has a defined strategy of trying to make "Eee PC" a popular term for netbooks in general.
So every cent Intel spent marketing "netbooks" might soon have been spent marketing someone else's netbook... assuming Psion-Teklogic is ready to actually release an update ... to its 5 year old Netbook!