Last year, V3.co.uk got into a spot of bother for using the term "Smartbook" to refer to several upcoming products, as a German laptop vendor claimed trademark rights on the name.
Now, it seems that the spat has been settled once and for all with the cancellation of the relevant trademarks by the German Patent and Trademark Office (Deutsche Patent und Markenamt or DPMA), according to several reports.
The term Smartbook had been popularised by chipmaker Qualcomm, which applied it to a new mobile device format that combined features of smartphones and netbooks, and which were likely to be based around its wireless chips.
Alas, the company neglected to check whether it was already a trademarked term, resulting in several news sites on this side of the pond receiving terse legal notices.
However, a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, and smartbooks have failed to materialise as a new device category in any real sense, apart from the odd device from the likes of Lenovo.
In fact, the market niche for smartbooks seems to have been taken by the wave of tablets, that have followed the launch of Apple's iconic iPad last year. A pyrrhic victory for Qualcomm, perhaps?
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