Intel sues Silicon Valley partner

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Chip giant Intel started a law suit in a California district court alleging that Intelop - an IP developer and engineering design services firm in Silicon Valley breaches its trademark name.

Intelop has customers and partners including HP, Lucent, IBM, Cisco, LSI Logic, McAfree, Palmchip,  Rambus, Net Optics, Philips, Hitachi, Agilent and many other companies, it claims on its web site. It is also clearly an Intel partner, as the filing claims Intelop has entered into an agreement with it over the Intel Inside logo.

It specializes in creating, for example TCO-Offload Engine SoC IP and produces boards for customers.

But it has fallen foul of Intel because, according to the court filing, Intelop is too close to the Santa Clara giant's own mark. Plus, says the filing, "Pursuant to the Channel Trademark License Agreement for Intel Inside Logo and Intel Promotional Materials, Intelop agreed, inter alia, to not adopt or use any tradename or trademark that is confusingly similar to or dilutive of Intel's trademarks."

Intel's lawyers continued: "Despite numerous attempts to amicably resolve the dispute, Intelop has persisted in using the Intelop trade name and trademark and has refused to voluntarily change its mark, leaving Intel no choice but to file this Complaint."

Here's an interesting snippet from the Channel Trademark License Agreement (CTLA) which Intel alleges Intelop has breached.

"You acknowledge Intel's exclusive Intellectual Property Rights in the Licensed Materials, and all goodwill associated therewith, and acknowledge that any and all use of the Licensed Materials and/or Intel Trademarks inures solely to the benefit of Intel. You shall not challenge Intel's exclusive lntellectual Property Rights in and to the Licensed Materials and Intel Trademarks. you shall not do anything that might harm the reputation or goodwill of Intel or Intel Trademarks."

So what does Intel want? It wants a judge to injunct Intelop, give it not less than $250,000 plus enhanced and punitive damages and for Intelop to expunge the name from the Secretary of State records of California and to change the company name.