Intel's fearless intellectual property lawyers have wrested the word 'inside' from a rival US firm, after an epic battle.
The heroes in suits successfully completed a dawn raid on Town Graphics, a small mapmaker based in Woodinville, Washington state. No casualties are reported.
It's a different story at Town Graphics. The company printed a map and stuffed copies into envelopes carrying the legend "map inside". It sent these out in mailshot. So far, so ordinary. Then it tried to trademark the expression 'map inside'. Big mistake.
Intel sent the attack dogs in, offering 'just over £400", according to the Mail on Sunday (i.e c, $600) to Town Graphics to junk its trademark plans.
Larry Morris, owner of Town Graphics, is unhappy with the offer but doesn't fancy a fight with Intel, which says this is normal procedure to 'prevent dilution of our brand and trademarks'.
So does Intel own 'Inside'? Err, no. It owns Intel Inside and it would easily see off any attempts to establish a rival trademark using 'inside' in the computer sector. But maps and mailshots? It just goes to show a big warchest goes a long, long way.
In previous years Intel has tried to establish lasting trademarks for letters of the alphabet - "i" - and for numbers e.g. 486. Intel abandoned its numbering scheme for processors, adopting the Pentium name instead for what would have been the 586. The bid to appropriate a letter of the alphabet failed too. ®