Intel vs. Robert Collins

Intel vs. Robert Collins
(How it all got started)

Why do I have a new Logo?
(Did I cave in to the pressure?)

What happened next?
(The days immediately after this letter)
Added 07/17/96

Intel's list of trademarks
(You wouldn't believe what they've tried to trademark)
Now Searchable! Added 11/17/96

Round 3
(Intel develops selective amnesia)
Added 07/17/96

Round 4
(Robert's response to Intel)
Added 07/17/96

Round 5
(Intel needs outside legal help)
Added 07/17/96

On January 27, 1996 I received a certified letter from Intel Corporation claiming that my Intel Secrets logo was infringing upon their trademark rights. The letter insists that I immediately (and before I receive proper legal counsel) cease and desist. Unfortunately, the letter was so fraught with errors and vagaries, that I couldn't make heads or tails of it. This type of sloppiness is hardly what I expected from the legal department of a multi-billion dollar corporation. Read the original Intel letter, and my response. If you so wish, send email to Intel and tell them what you think, or send me email to tell me that I got what I deserved.

When I first started my web page, I knew I was inviting the wrath of a multi-billion dollar corporation. It didn't take long until I received my first harassing complaint by an Intel employee. The complaint came within one or two weeks of starting my web pages. So obviously, Intel took notice of my existence real quick. What made this complaint so serious, is that it came from an Intel employee, to my employer. The complaint suggested that I was doing something illegal and that my employer should take the "appropriate action." We all know what that means.

Shortly thereafter, the harassment started coming in other forms. Intel employees started "testing the waters." I started receiving email suggesting that some of my undocumented information was incorrect. The problem for these people, is that I knew more about the x86 architecture than they did, and I wasn't shy about correcting them. They never rebutted my corrections. This was a rather short-lived episode of harassment which lasted about a month. I'm sure it didn't take Intel long to technically size me up and realize that it would not be easy to discredit my work.

Then on January 27, 1996 I received a certified letter from Intel's legal department. The letter accuses me of trademark infringement in the use of their corporate logo. They've probably checked their corporate databases and found that my name never shows up as being the recipient of any NDA material. Then they probably read all of my articles and realized that 99% of the secret information can be gleaned from public sources. They would have loved to send me a cease and desist letter based on the illegal disclosure of proprietary material, but they couldn't. Hopefully this realization serves as an embarassment to those people who thought that the information in Appendix H was some kind of national secret. So when all else failed, they pulled the old "trademarked logo" rabbit out of the hat.

I'll offer this letter in two different forms: text form and a scanned in copy. The text form is the fastest way to read this letter. The scanned-in copy is only provided as a means to verify that I didn't falsify any of the original text.

Send email to Intel in response to this letter Send email to me in response to this letter

Read text copy of Intel's letter Read scanned in copy of Intel's letter
Read my response to Intel's letter
Read Round 2: What happened next