Intel, the leading chip maker whose technology drives most of the PCs on the market, is enforcing its trademark rights against eccentric cybersecurity pioneer John McAfee as the latter seeks to use his own name in a new security-related business venture.
Unsure why this matters? Look how many chips Intel make in our discussion of the best CPUs for PC gaming.
Intel are famous as one of the world’s leading semiconductor chip makers. They continue to pull away from competitors such as AMD, owning over 80% of the market as of 2015.
No one whose product is so ubiquitous is poor, and almost everyone who is rich looks to diversify sooner or later. Hence, Intel bought McAfee, the cybersecurity company, for $7.7 billion in 2011. In September this year, Intel made a deal with investment firm TPG, in which TPG took a majority stake in McAfee for $3.1 billion, with Intel owning the remainder.
Meanwhile, John McAfee (the original founder of the company which bears his name, obviously), teamed with another three-letter acronym investment company called MGT, who were so keen to leverage his famous name that they announced plans to change theirs to “John McAfee Global Technologies, Inc”, and put John McAfee in charge. Incidentally, in case you don’t know the kind of chap John McAfee is, it’s worth taking a few minutes to watch this extremely odd and NSFW video.
Anyway, Intel didn’t much care for John McAfee using his name in a professional cybersecurity context, hence the present dispute. In their filing to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, Intel said they object to John McAfee and MGT “using their new MCAFEE trade name and trademark, and any other MCAFEE trade names or marks in a manner that creates a likelihood of confusion or deception among consumers, or that dilutes Intel’s famous MCAFEE brand.” Esssentially, Intel is arguing that another company using John McAfee’s name for cybersecurity products could lead the public to assume they come from the original McAfee company.
John McAfee and MGT claim he never gave away the rights to “his personal name, via assignment of trademark or otherwise”.