John McAfee Sues Intel over Naming Rights

Controversial anti-virus pioneer John McAfee has been told by Intel he can’t use his own name to rebrand a new company because the chip giant owns the rights.

McAfee joined MGT Capital Investments as chairman and CEO earlier this year and was keen on a rebrand.

However, in a newly revealed letter sent to the firm in June (via The Register), Intel managing counsel Kelly Smith stated that the chip firm would not countenance a name change.

“If you move forward with the name change, Intel will take all necessary legal action to protect its trademark rights,” the letter concluded.

McAfee sold the naming rights to the eponymous company back in 1991, before eventually leaving altogether three years later.

Intel then announced it was acquiring the firm in 2010 for a massive $7.7 billion.

However, although it subsequently changed its name to Intel Security, elements of the McAfee brand still live on in various parts of that business, for example in the branding for research division McAfee Labs, and various security products.

Intel could be keen on preserving the name as it is looking to offload the company in order to concentrate on its core business, despite promising at the time that building security into the silicon represented a turning point for the industry.

McAfee is, of course, no stranger to controversy. Back in 2012 he released a video ostensibly describing how to uninstall McAfee AV, in response to the frequent questions he gets from irate customers keen to ditch the software.

In that expletive-laden video the eccentric millionaire is seen snorting white powder half naked whilst surrounded by a harem of scantily clad ladies.

McAfee is now suing Intel for the right to rebrand his new company with his name, but given how well-known the trademark still is in the industry he could be facing a tricky time in court. 

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