Intel and Ohio company tussle over the word “inside”

Intel and ITS (Internet Transaction Solutions) are reportedly rushing to get one up over the other in the court of law over usage of the word “inside” for trademark purposes. The entire legal scuffle took root in December 2005 when Intel sent a letter threatening legal action if ITS did not recall its application to register the service mark “ePayments Inside” at United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Apparently, ITS ignored Intel’s missive last month and instead elected to file for a declaratory judgment action against the latter stating that their marketing slogan does not infringe or dilute the widely-recognized trademark “Intel Inside.” The former offers electronic payment processing services, while Intel is a leading manufacturer of computer microprocessors, of course.

Declaratory relief or declaratory judgments issued by courts state the rights of parties requesting for them without ordering any specific action or listing awards for damages, providing that there is an actual controversy which requires such intervention.

Intel has responded by filing a lawsuit against ITS in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging claims of trademark infringement, trademark dilution, false designation of origin and unfair competition. The company appears likely to appeal for the declaratory judgment action to be rescinded too.

It will be intriguing to see how all of this plays out considering the Intel is a billion-dollar brand that can keep throwing money at the case, while ITS is undoubtedly the underdog in this fight.