The Wrong Motorola Bought Psion

Mention Psion among geeks of a certain age and you're likely to trigger a lengthy conversation about how they had - or coveted - one of the company's iconic Series 3 or Series 5 PDAs in the 90s. Known for their innovative QWERTY keyboard design and futuristic - for the time - functionality, you arguably couldn't call yourself a proper mobile enthusiast if you didn't own one at some point. So, you'd be forgiven for the briefest, misty-eyed reminiscimoment at the news today that Motorola Solutions is buying up the company in a $200m deal. Problem is, the wrong Motorola bought Psion.

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PsiXpda planning Psion 5mx-style QWERTY Android MID

PsiXpda, who you may remember channeled some classic Psion nostalgia for their UMPC in late 2009, is planning a second attempt on the companion device market with a design that sticks more faithfully to the fondly-remembered Series 5mx. Founder Paul Pinnock told Reghardware that, while the PsiXpda sold out its (admittedly tentative at just 2,000 units) production run, the new model will use Android and have a more imaginative form-factor.

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Psion-Intel Netbook trademark fight settled

Psion have announced that other companies are free to use the netbook name, reaching an "amicable agreement" with Intel and ending their lengthy legal battle.  While the full details of that agreement are unknown, Psion have confirmed that they will be voluntarily withdrawing their "netbook" trademark registrations.

Neither Intel nor Psion have accepted any level of liability in the case, which saw Psion accused of misrepresenting their hardware sales with regards what Intel perceived as a legacy device bearing the "Netbook Pro" name.  Meanwhile Psion counter-sued Intel for trademark infringement, seeking to obtain not only exclusive use of the term netbook but Intel's domain and financial damages.

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Intel to Psion: even you say Netbook Pro is discontinued

Intel have responded to Psion's countersuit over the silicon company's attempts to have the "Netbook" trademark revoked.  Psion maintains that they have not abandoned the trademark, and that sales of their Netbook Pro device continue; Intel argues that their sales in the US ceased after 2003, and indeed the Netbook Pro is listed under "Discontinued Products" on the company's own site.

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Psion: We’re still selling the Netbook Pro

The netbook trademark saga continues, and anybody who hoped Psion would roll over and play dead once Dell and Intel stepped in, think again.  Psion have  responded to claims that they "abandoned" the netbook trademark and are no longer selling the Psion Netbook Pro; in fact, the company claims, sales of the Netbook Pro continue, with millions of dollars worth of hardware going to US vertical markets.

Full Psion response after the cut

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Psion Netbook trademark case continues: targets those “profiting” from misuse

Further details of the Psion netbook trademark case have emerged, thanks to a number of statements from the legal team, Origin, supporting the UK company.  The situation came to light last week, with several UK sites reportedly receiving cease & desist letters regarding their use of the term "netbook", a term which Psion trademarked back in the 90's for use on a range of sub-notebook devices.  While the devices themselves are no longer in production, Psion does still hold the trademark and produce accessories for the line; according to their legal representation, they're not in fact targeting fan-sites and bloggers using the term "netbook" but those making "a direct, financial profit" from its use.  

Full legal correspondence after the cut

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Psion Netbook trademark holder target fan sites with C&D notices

Some netbook enthusiast sites have apparently received cease and desist (C&D) letters, demanding that they remove the term "netbook" from their pages before March 2009, else face legal action.  The letters, which until now have been sent to UK-based sites, claim that the netbook and netbook pro trademarks are owned by the company responsible for the Psion Netbook, a larger version of the company's PDAs that has not been in production for some years now.

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