The launch of MMX chips by Intel is set to provoke legal action in the US, with clone processor makers up in arms at an attempt to trademark the initials. But Intel?s plan to trademark the initials may come to grief as rival chip firm Cyrix is claiming that an unnamed Dutch computer company trademarked the name MMX Technologies in the 1980s.
Both Cyrix and fellow Intel clonemaker AMD are upset by Intel?s attempt to create a copyright issue over the initials MMX, which stand for multimedia extensions. Richard Baker, European marketing manager of AMD, said: ?We?re saying that MMX is not a trademark and you can?t trademark abbreviations. Intel has tried to trademark MMX and we?re saying they can?t.?
Intel has previously attempted to register a multitude of initials in order to head off its rivals but has had mixed success. Two years ago the giant applied to have the letter P as a trademark but AMD objected successfully on the grounds that quite a few words in the English language use that particular consonant.
Brendan Sherry, European managing director of Cyrix, said that it will launch its own chip at Cebit next month and the fact that MMX technology was licensed from Intel meant nothing in copyright terms.
He said: ?We?ve been a bit like the rebels and if Intel wants to sue it will. The name is more of a copyright issue than a technology issue. The name was registered in the 1980s by a Dutch computer company as MMX Technologies. Just because Intel is the big Goliath they don?t have the right to everything they want.?
The MMX technology, Sherry said, will only be a ?tick box? in feature sets of machines introduced this Christmas. ?This is mostly marketing ballyhoo,? he claimed. ?There will be machines using Cyrix, AMD and Intel chips for sale and Klamath systems running MMX.?
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