Google is getting a little legal turbulence before its Chromebook laptops even launch. The California based search giant is being sued by Salt Lake City-based ISYS Technologies over trademark infringement.
ISYS claims it has the rights to “Chromium” and apparently all chromium derived names; Chromebook happens to be too similar. ISYS Technologoies is pushing a Utah district court to stop Google and its various partners, including Amazon.com, Samsung and Best Buy, from marketing and selling the Chromebook named laptops later in June.
ISYS happens to own Xi3 Corporation, a company that released the tiny dual-core processor armed ChromiumPC last month. Xi3’s modular PC was the world’s first desktop to run the Google Chrome OS.
Xi3 attempted to trademark ChromiumPC in June of last year. Google opposed the trademark filing then because of the PC name’s similarity to the Chromium OS telling Xi3 to “cease and desist”.
The justification for this suit against Google? ISYS’s claim is that Google hadn’t been using the Chromebook moniker at that time. Originally Google wanted to use the name Speedbook, but had to switch because that name was already taken. Once the name switch happened, Google filed requests for extensions of time on the ChromiumPC trademark issue—which ISYS claims were “unnecessary”. Google then introduced its Chromebooks in 2011, two weeks before Xi3’s ChromiumPC was announced. This did not make ISYS look to good.
The Utah-based intellectual property management and holding company claims that the name confusion has caused “damage and irreparable harm to ISYS.” Google’s rights to the Chromium mark as well as Chromebooks and even Chromebox are invalid.
Jason Sullivan, CEO of ISYS Technologies said, “For more than 18 months, we’ve been using, marketing, promoting and selling ChromiumPC Modular Computers. But in spite of our sincere efforts to resolve this matter amicably with Google, we’ve clearly reached an impasse.”