Integrating Intel: trademarks as key ingredients


Intel makes billions in the semiconductor market and its marks are widely recognised. WIPR talks to Ruby Zefo, Intel’s chief trademark counsel, about licensing the marks of a computer part and preventing others from diluting them.

A microprocessor is an important piece of technology. A computer’s processing power and its size used to be in proportion; the 1946 Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, which was used to calculate artillery firing tables, weighed 30 tonnes. The invention of the microprocessor—a single integrated circuit—meant that the functions of a computer’s central processing could be handled by a tiny chip, rather than an array of vacuum tubes, crystal diodes, relays, resistors, capacitors and hand-soldered joints.

Intel Corporation manufactures microprocessors and distributes them globally. The company reported revenues of $43.6 billion for 2010—an $8.5 billion increase on its 2009 figure. Intel’s brand is worth over $32 billion and ranks seventh in the world behind the likes of Coca Cola and McDonalds, according to Interbrand’s 2010 rankings.

Ruby Zefo is Intel’s chief trademark counsel and is responsible for around 7,000 registrations and marks across the world. She leads a team of 18 trademark professionals who handle all of Intel’s trademark work, including clearance, prosecution, licensing, enforcement, counselling and litigation.

Intel, trademarking