Intel, the computer chip manufacturer, has lost a court battle against the UK Patent Office to have a trademark that uses "Intel" annulled.
Omnicom-owned marketing services group CPM registered "Intelmark" as a trademark for marketing and telemarketing services in 1997 but Intel claims that CPM is exploiting the reputation of its own Intel mark.
In 2003, Intel asked the Patent Office to cancel CPM’s rights to the name on the grounds that Intel has invested time and money developing its brand and that Intelmark is potentially damaging to that. That application was rejected and Intel appealed.
Justice Patten has now ruled that Intel has no case. He acknowledges that Intel is a strong brand name but adds that there is no likelihood of damage to Intel’s brand provided CPM sticks to the terms of the original trademark.
A spokesman was unable to say whether Intel would take the matter further as "we never speculate on our legal strategy". But he adds the company has spent "billions of dollars on building the Intel brand, and we have an obligation to our shareholders to protect that value."
In the latest Interbrand survey of the world’s most valuable brands, published in BusinessWeek last week, Intel was ranked fifth with a value of $32.3bn (17.3bn).