Intel Settles Trademark Clash With McAfee

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Intel Corp. has settle a lawsuit against John McAfee, the creator of eponymous antivirus computer software, over his right to use his name on other projects after the chipmaker bought his former company.

U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken sacked McAfee’s September 2016 lawsuit and Intel’s countersuit in Manhattan on Wednesday, five days after a settlement agreement was signed.

Under the settlement, McAfee agreed not to use his name, trademark his name or the phrase “John McAfee Privacy Phone,” or use “John McAfee Global Technologies” in connection with cybersecurity- and security-related products and services.

He retained the right in other contexts to use his name in advertising, promotions and presentations, including with regard to his role at McAfee Associates, which he sold to Intel for $7.7 billion in 2010.

Neither McAfee nor Intel admitted wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, which was cordial, according to court papers.

Intel acquired McAfee in 2010 and renamed its security products Intel Security in 2014. The firm also owns a trademark for the term ‘McAfee Security’, which was registered at the US Patent and Trademark Office in June 2004.

McAfee’s lawyers apparently declined to comment after not immediately responding to requests for comments. A spokesman for Intel said the Santa Clara, California-based company was satisfied to settle.

Intel spun off its cybersecurity division, now called McAfee LLC, in April, after agreeing to sell a 51% stake to private investment firm TPG Capital.

Trademark Dispute

The case arose in September 2016 when McAfee brought a trademark non-infringement against Intel. McAfee said he sued after Intel warned him that using his name, including by renaming his digital gaming and cybersecurity company MGT Capital Investments Inc. as “John McAfee Global Technologies Inc,” would infringe its trademarks.

Intel countered by accusing McAfee of trademark infringement and unfair competition, and sought unspecified damages.

John McAfee joined technology firm MGT in May 2016 as chairman and CEO. Plans were announced that the company was looking to change the firm’s name to John McAfee Global Technologies.

Intel argued that McAfee and MGT had weakened its trademarks, infringed its common law trademarks and had violated competition law through unauthorized use of its trademarks without the company’s permission.

Intel added that the use of the term ‘McAfee’ in a business name and trademark in connection with anti-spyware solutions “will infringe on and dilute Intel’s famous McAfee trademark”.

Shares of Intel rose 2.63% to $34.34 in its last session. It opened at $33.52, with a session high of $34.43 and a session low of $33.49. The stock currently has a market capitalization of $165.96 billion, a price earnings ratio of 14.91, and a dividend yield of 3.17%.

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