Intel Inside: Swiss allegedly infringe trademark

This is a Computerworld Post that was translated into English.
Link to original Post: http://www.computerworld.ch/news/it-branche/artikel/intel-inside-schweizer-verletzen-angeblich-marke-63672/

Intel accuses the IT-consulting company Experts Inside for infringing the registered trademark «Intel inside» . The St. Galler are not the first «Insiders» with this problem.

David versus Goliath: The Swiss IT-consulting company Experts Inside is facing a trademark litigation with Intel. The semiconductor-giant considers the rights relating to his trademark «Intel inside» to have been infringed by the use of the name component «Inside». In a letter to Experts Inside, which was presented to Computerworld, the Stuttgart-based law firm Lichtenstein, Körner & Partner certifies a «conflict with the famous trademark» of its client Intel.

The lawyers demand from the Swiss, the immediate non-utilization and deletion of the trademark «Experts Inside», which is registered in Germany. «Our client would thus prefer to regulate the matter mutually and without additional follow-up costs […]», according to the letter. In a prefilled cease and desist agreement, the lawyers shall call a contractual penalty of Euro 7500 for each possible use of the name Experts Inside – also as second-level-domain.

As Samuel Zürcher, the Managing Director of Experts Inside, said to Computerworld, the company is currently checking the claims together with its lawyers. Zürcher, together with the German Branch Manager Christian Glessner, has managed to publicize and establish the company under the current name. «We have worked too hard and applied too much for letting us simply ruin by such a claim», said Zürcher. Experts Inside had approached the Law firm and had signaled willingness to talk. The opposition however adhere to the claim and also deny a direct contact with Intel.

Nicola Procaccio, Intel’s Communication and Media Relations Manager Southern Europe & Switzerland, clarified at the request of Computerworld: «We do not comment on ongoing proceedings.»

Experts Inside are not the first company, which came into conflict with the semiconductor giants due to the name affix. In the letter, the Stuttgart-based lawyers shall mention additional cases, in which Intel has defended the trademark in the past «extremely successful against the acquisition of ‚inside’». A list with 146 name conflicts, which the group wants to have decided in its favor, is attached to the document. Name creations with the component «Inside» are listed by companies like AEG, DaimlerChrysler, Deutsche Telekom, Opel, Siemens and Sony.

It is however not clear from the report of Stuttgarters, whether the trademark deletions are fought in court or are concluded by any other way. In any case, the companies might have also «voluntarily» cancelled their trademarks considering the impending cost risk.

The law firm Dury, which is appointed by Experts Inside, is hopeful on request by Computerworld to be able to bring the case to a positive end for its clients. They quote a decision of the European Office for Harmonization in the internal market (OHIM) from the year 2010. The OHIM had meanwhile decided that «inside» would be internationally understandable in terms of «within» and would thus pertain to distinctive element (Ref: R0955/06-2). A reference to this case law is missing in the letter of the Intel-lawyers.

Mark Schröder, Editor Computerworld

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