Rant of the week: Psion

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A few of you may have heard about Psion, a virtually-unknown computer manufacturer based in London that recently made headlines after “allegedly sending a cease-and-desist order to the operators of a technology blog demanding they no longer refer to mini-notebook as netbooks as the company holds a tradmark on the word.” (Wikipedia) The letter can be found here.

Psion sold a netBook and netBook Pro a few years ago, but (apart from some accessories) Psion no longer uses the term “netbook” in any of its computing products. It’s ludicrous to demand that everyone stops using the term “netbook” simply because of an aging trademark. Today, Gizmodo AU reported on an email sent to Retravision telling them to stop using “netbook”, which I can only assume has also been sent to other retailers.

Netbook is a perfectly appropriate word to describe computers such as the Eee Pc or the MSI Wind. I and many others will continue to use it, and suggest that Psion drop this foolish legal pursuit. – r.

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