Intel Hijacks Geek Mark

 ecogeeklogo.JPG

A funny thing happened to Hank Green, the author of Ecogeek.org (Ecogeek), a great web site about technological solutions to global warming.  After developing the logo for his site and applying for a federal trademark registration (applicationserialno77201309.pdf), he recently became aware that Intel stole his logo for their low power consumption WiFi Link 5000 Series Wireless Adapters.

In reality, it appears that they stole only a portion of Ecogeek’s eco-mark.  The full mark (pictured above) consists of a green plant and semi-circle design together with the word “ecogeek” with “eco” in black and “geek” in green.  From the pictures Green showed on his site, it looks like Intel swiped just the plant design component of the mark:

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Also, Intel apparently contacted Green within 48 hours of his first article on the infringement and apologized (sort of).  According to their note to Green, they have since taken steps to pull the misappropriated logo from any material on which it was used.

Although I’ve written before about the trademark application process for eco-marks, I haven’t seen much in the way of eco-mark infringement litigation.  It seems inevitable, though, given the explosion of eco-mark applications in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.  This episode with Ecogeek may mark the dawn of an era of green trademark infringement litigation.

Eric Lane Avatar

Eric Lane

Eric Lane, the founder and principal of Green Patent Law, is an intellectual property lawyer and registered U.S. patent attorney in New York and is a member of the bar in New York and California. Eric has more than two decades of experience working with wind, solar PV, CSP, biofuels, and geothermal, energy storage technologies, carbon capture and sequestration, medical devices, data communications, mechanical, chemical, internet and software.