Tech Industry

Intel sued over 'dual-core' branding

Ultramobile PC maker DualCor accuses Intel of misappropriating its trademark, which it was granted last year.

Intel is being sued in a trademark case over the use of the term "dual core" in its product labeling.

The lawsuit was filed last week by California-based ultramobile PC firm DualCor Technologies. The suit accuses Intel of misappropriating the DualCor trademark, with the result being that DualCor has been "deprived of the value of its trademark as a commercial asset."

DualCor filed for a trademark on its name in May 2004. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the trademark in July 2006. DualCor claims Intel was aware of DualCor and its name since it was established in 2003. DualCor is seeking to have the case heard by a jury.

The PC maker is claiming damages against Intel and is seeking an injunction against any further trademark infringements.

While it has targeted the largest chipmaker that uses the "dual-core" description, other suppliers, such as AMD, Sun and IBM, sell similar products. At the time of this writing, DualCor said it could not say if it would pursue any other manufacturers.

Intel has rejected DualCor's claims. "Intel believes that DualCor's allegations are unfounded," a spokesman for the company said. "Intel will attempt to settle the matter amicably with DualCor but intends to defend this case vigorously if DualCor continues to pursue it."

It is not the first time the issue of dual-core processing has been at the center of a dispute.

In July, PC World escaped punishment from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after one of its national press advertisements appeared to suggest that dual-core Intel-based machines performed twice as fast as those with a single core. The person who made the complaint to the ASA claimed that, because of shared hardware components, Core 2 Duo machines would be no more than 1.7 times faster than machines with a single-core processor.

PC World successfully argued that the text "twice as fast" was linked to benchmarking against previous Intel chipsets.

Intel is currently marketing its new range of quad-core processors.

Antony Savvas of ZDNet UK reported from London.