5 September 2016Trademarks

McAfee antivirus creator fights for name against Intel

The creator of the McAfee antivirus computer software, John McAfee, has brought a trademark non-infringement lawsuit against technology company Intel.

Filed on September 2 at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, McAfee sued Intel over the right to use his name, claiming that it doesn’t infringe Intel’s trademark rights in the McAfee name

Intel acquired the McAfee company in 2010, renaming its security products Intel Security in 2014.

In May 2016, McAfee joined tech firm MGT as executive chairman and CEO. Plans were also announced to change the firm’s name to John McAfee Global Technologies.

McAfee claimed that MGT received a letter in June from Intel stating that the plan to change the firm’s name would “result in Intel ‘tak[ing] all necessary legal action to protect its trademark rights”.

The letter also indicated that McAfee’s use of his own name for the company “would ‘suggest some affiliation or relationship’ with Intel”.

In the filing, McAfee and MGT cited a 1991 agreement concerning the sale of certain assets to McAfee Associates LP from McAfee Associates to claim that McAfee had not assigned the rights to his personal name or agreed to not use his own name while doing business.

“Substantial non-use in commerce provides the grounds for cancellation of a trademark,” said the filing, referencing the McAfee trademark and the renaming of the security products to Intel Security in 2014.

It added: “Despite Intel’s abandonment, the demand letter still threatens plaintiffs with legal action, and thus rights which it does not possess and rights that are beyond the bounds of its rights in the defendant’s marks in a manner that violates the basic rights of plaintiffs.”

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24 October 2016   Technology company Intel has responded to a lawsuit brought by the creator of the McAfee antivirus software and has argued that he infringes its trademarks.
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