Intel sued over Pentium name

A company called the Pentiumfund Limited has taken legal action against Intel, and is seeking a declaration that it can carry on using its web site under a name that’s existed for thirty years.

The petition, filed in a district court on the 12th of May in the Eastern District of Virginia, seeks to establish that Pentium Fund Ltd (PFL) is the rightful owner of the domain names and

It alleges that Intel’s attempt to take over these domain names is unlawful under the reverse domain name hijacking provisions of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA).

PFL said in the filing that it is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the British Virgin Islands, and has its principal place of business in Geneva, Switzerland. It’s a hedge fund and financial services company that’s operated for 30 years.

In February, Intel filed a case with the World Intellectual Property Office Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO), requesting the transfer of the domain names to itself.

It said the domain names were confusingly similar to Intel’s Pentium trademark and were being used in bad faith.

But WIPO ordered the transfer of the domain names to Intel and told PFL that unless legal proceedings were started, the domain names would be transferred.

“PFL did not have a bad faith intent when it registered the domain names. The name Pentium Fund Ltd was chosen because the owner was the fifth child in his family. The Pentium Fund was also the fifth fund started by PFL,” said the filing.

Well, just fancy that. There is someone called Pentium who isn’t Craig Barrett’s horse Pentium Princess. We seem to recall that Intel spent a huge amount of money making sure that “Pentium” was unique.  It chose the word Pentium because it failed to trademark the number 586.