Round 5: Intel needs outside legal help

Added 07/17/96

Remember back in Round 3 when I suggested that Intel needed to send me a letter that I could take more seriously than the waste of paper that their legal department had generated? Well, they answered my request. Intel hired the prestigious law firm of Arnold, White and Durkee to do the job that they found themselves incompetent to perform.

On July 12, 1996, I received a letter from my attorney, with a letter attached from Intel's attorney. The situation got real serious, Intel wasn't playing Mr. Nice Guy any more. The letter explained why Intel had made the agreement to leave me alone, but that my trademark applications had pushed them over the edge. At my request, there were plenty of mentions of case law (no citations however). I can say with conviction, that this letter was much more professional than the garbage their legal department sent me. Finally, this was a letter I could take seriously.

I called the attorney representing Intel - another taboo in the legal profession. I spoke with him at some length. We discussed our relative positions, as you might expect. I explained some of the ways Intel has harassed me, and my desire to be left alone. I explained how, on numerous occasions, I asked Intel to give me a phone call if they had concerns about my web site, instead of sending me nasty letters. If they simply gave me the courtesy of a phone call, I would be very accommodating, and work things out. But instead, if they cocked a gun, and pointed it to my head, as a letter might do, I would not be very cooperative. To me, this makes perfect sense. But to Intel, the obvious, must escape their notice.

We discussed our mutual mistrust for each other. I found this astonishing, as I pointed out, I had fulfilled EVERY promise I had made to Intel. Trust can only be built from honesty and integrity. What has Intel done to gain my trust? Remember back in Round 2, when I asked Ms. Townley if she was an Intel Trademark Attorney? She swore that she was, but now it turns out that she may have not told the truth. Intel's outside counsel says that Ms. Townley is not an attorney - and that she wouldn't intentionally misrepresent her position - either. Yeah, right. (Isn't there some law against misrepresenting yourself as an attorney?) Of the very few promises they have made me, they have broken them. So I ask you: why should I trust Intel, and what basis do they have to mistrust me? Who has always kept their word, me or Intel?

So I asked this attorney, if I withdrew my trademark applications, would I be allowed to continue usage of my logo. He said no. To me, the obvious question was: why not? At one point, Intel was willing to let me use it. Why did they develop this severe case of amnesia? He says, that Intel was never under the impression that I would be using my logo on a continued basis? Say what? When they agreed to drop the whole issue, what did they think they were agreeing to? What kind of back-pedaling is this? I told him that I found their position unbelievable. There wasn't any promise on my part to discontinue publication of my web site, and they knew it. Therefore I couldn't understand where they formed this idea that I wasn't going to continue using my logo, on a continued basis. This sounds a little too convenient - for legal purposes, I'm sure.

We departed the conversation after trying to see if we could work this issue out. I explained my commitment to compromise, but said, based on my experiences with Intel's ability to keep their promises, I had my doubts about them. I still have my doubts, but only time will tell whether or not we can work this out.

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