Trademark infringement concern generates lawsuit

Laws governing the rights and ownership of intellectual property can be highly difficult for many New York business owners to comprehend. Without a good grasp on what is and is not permissible, it’s quite easy for entrepreneurs to run afoul of the current laws as well as other business entities. In some cases, this can lead to a costly and damaging lawsuit.

Technology giant Intel has voiced concern via letter of a potential trademark infringement after antivirus mogul John McAfee expressed interest in changing the name of his company. These concerns stem from McAfee’s desire to use “John McAfee Global Technologies Inc.” for his own business venture. However, Intel states that the McAfee name is already a trademark under its ownership, due to its purchase in 2010 of the McAfee company. This is despite the fact that Intel has re-branded the company as well as its products, which are now covered under the name “Intel Security.” 

As a result of the letter, McAfee has chosen to initiate a lawsuit against the tech company. He claims that a preceding document that spelled out terms of a sale taking place between two of McAfee’s companies does not include any restrictions to the McAfee name. However, Intel states that the ubiquitous nature of McAfee products and their familiarity to the general public could result in confusion if McAfee also uses the name for separate business undertakings. While the company name has changed, Intel still makes use of the McAfee trademark and voiced concern over future business dealings if McAfee proceeds with the change.

Steering clear of trademark infringement can be a complex task for many businesses, especially when it comes to trademarks that include the names of key players. Accordingly, working with a lawyer well-versed in intellectual property laws is recommended to ensure business owners remain fully aware of their rights, as well as any restrictions.

Source:, “John McAfee sues chipmaker Intel Corp. over trademark infringement threat,” Anmol Sachdeva, Sept. 5, 2016

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