John McAfee sues Intel for the right to use his own name

He argues that Intel dropped the McAfee brand in 2014.
Matt Brian
M. Brian|09.05.16

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Matt Brian
September 5, 2016 4:53 PM
In this article: gear, internet

In the six years since John McAfee sold the eponymous antivirus company he founded to Intel for billions of dollars, the software creator has made the headlines for a variety of reasons. He's already claimed that he could snoop on encrypted WhatsApp messages and would have "no problem" becoming president, but more recently he's been trying to claim back something a lot more important: his name. Bloomberg reports that McAfee has sued Intel for the right to use his name after the chip maker blocked his request over trademark issues.

The lawsuit comes after McAfee joined online gaming company MGT Capital Investments as CEO and chairman in May and planned to rename the company John McAfee Global Technologies Inc. Intel, which owns McAfee's "trademarks, tradenames, and associated goodwill," warned that the rebrand would infringe on those properties.

In a complaint to the New York District Court, MGT and McAfee argue that "at no point in the Agreement did McAfee assign the rights to his personal name [...] or agree to restrict his right to do business using his own name" and that the agreement with Intel "did not contain any non-compete provisions of any kind."

The plaintiffs argue that in in January 2014, Intel dropped the McAfee brand and began marketing the antivirus suite under "Intel Security." According to Bloomberg, the chip maker is now trying to sell the company but will use the McAfee mark to help make it more valuable to buyers. Intel counsel Kerry Smith also warned that "any use of the McAfee name would be likely to dilute the McAfee mark [...] by reducing its unique association with McAfee and Intel Corporation."

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McAfee and co. have requested a trial by jury in order to win the rights to his name. We wonder if his 'How To Uninstall McAfee Antivirus" YouTube video will get an airing should they be given a court date.

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John McAfee sues Intel for the right to use his own name