Intel seems to think that a travel agency in Santa Clara, CA., by the name of Intellife Travel, is infringing on its trademark name. Apparently Intellife Travel has received a grouping of letters from Intel lawyers, indicating they feel the travel agency and its name may confuse the public into thinking that it is a company owned by Intel.

On the flip side, the smallish travel agency, which caters to American-Chinese travelers visting mainland China, states that this is not the case. In a recent article it also states that:

About a year before the compliant was filed, in August, 2007, Intellife’s president and owner Faith Zhang received a seemingly routine letter from one of Intel’s outside lawyers, Raffi Zerounian, who wanted to learn more about what products or services the small firm markets under the Intellife name to determine whether Intel’s trademark was being damaged.

Apparently, Intel’s brand covers everything from luggage to golf balls. Who knew? This time Zhang decided to get his own lawyer, who sent a strongly worded defense of Intellife’s right to keep its name (the third embedded document below). Among his arguments were that the two companies don’t offer similar products or services,, their respective logos look nothing alike, there is no evidence any consumer was actually confused, and that marks need to be “viewed in their entirety, and not ‘dissected’ into components.”

In should be interesting to see how the courts rule. I recall when Linux maker Lindows had to change their name to Linspire after Microsoft sued. This could be the outcome in this case as well, since the name Intel is a part of the name.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.