June 09, 2011

Google, Partners Sued for Potential Chromebook Name Violation


Google and several of its partners are being sued by a Utah-based company over a potential trademark violation, according to a lawsuit filed this week with the U.S. District Court in Utah.

Isys Technologies claims that the use of the name “ChromiumPC” began in 2009 through Xi3 Corporation, a subsidiary of Isys and seeks judgment that “Google has no trademark rights in the mark.”

“In 2010, Isys filed for trademark registration thereby providing constructive notice to all including Google of Isys’ ongoing intentions to brand computer hardware with the ChromiumPC mark,” the suit said. “Google has now opposed Isys’ application for ChromiumPC relying upon the name of open source software called Chromium by Google and by many, independent open-source developers over which and over whom Google exercises no material control.”

In addition to the name violation, ISYS also purports that Google originally sought to call its Web-based netbooks the “Speedbook,” but switched to Chromebook after discovering the Speedbook mark was already taken, PC Magazine reported. “Google then filed ‘unnecessary extensions of time’ on the ChromiumPC trademark application before introducing its Chromebooks at a May 11 press event. Xi3’s ChromiumPC was unveiled on May 23.”

Isys, which is based in Salt Lake City, holds several federal and state contracts, including the federal Department of Defense.

According to a June 6 Business Wire release, Isys Technologies is an intellectual property management and holding company that was formed in 2002. IsysTechnologies holds issued U.S. patents surrounding the Xi3 Computer Architecture, intellectual property that forms the foundation for the Xi3 Modular Computer.

“The suit seeks an expedited temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Google and its partners (Acer, Amazon.com, Best Buy and Samsung) to stop further marketing efforts of the Chromebook and Chromebox PC products, as well as plans to begin selling these PC products on or about June 15, 2011. All five companies are named in the federal lawsuit that was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, as Case No. 2:11-CV-507 CW,” the release said.

Todd E. Zenger, shareholder and intellectual property litigation specialist for the Salt Lake City-based law firm Kirton & McConkie, is the lead attorney for Isys in its lawsuit against Google.


Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny



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