We’ve blogged about the Smartbook trademark controversy before. The deal is that a German company, Smartbook AG, has the trademark and wants to protect it. Consequently, this means they’ve been clamping down on manufacturers and media who use it to describe that generation of mobile devices that are just starting to surface after a long run up. Now it seems, via our friend Sascha Pallenberg of Netbooknews.de that they are pressuring bloggers worldwide from using the trademarked name as well.
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.
TechCrunch is running an article about this that basically indicates what this is all about: money. Yeah, the attorney says they’d be willing to sell it. This happens regularly of course, but in my naive view of the world, even with laws that require a trademark owner to aggressively protect trademarks, we’d all be better off if thisÂ legal method of extortion didn’t exist.