Intel doesn’t want John McAfee to use his own name
Antivirus magnate and Character with a capital “C” John McAfee has filed a lawsuit against Intel, after the tech giant itself filed a letter saying he couldn’t call a company after his name.
In May, McAfee announced he was joining MGT Capital Investments as chief financial officer, following the company’s acquisition of anti-spyware firm D-Vasive. Within a few months, the MGT announced its intention to change its name to “John McAfee Global Technologies, Inc”.
According to court documents filed at the beginning of the month, posted by The Register, Intel is attempting to block this – pointing to its acquisition of the McAfee trademark when it bought the antivirus company for $7.68 billion in 2010.
“Any use of the McAfee name in connection with your company and its provision of D-Vasive’s anti-spy software or other security solutions would surely be likely to confuse customers as to the source of your company’s products, and/or suggest some affiliation or relationship with McAfee or Intel that does not exist,” wrote Intel managing counsel Kelly Smith in the letter, adding for good measure that “John McAfee does not have any right to use the McAfee name for security related goods and services”.
McAfee sees things differently. Last Friday MGT Capital Investments and himself filed a lawsuit against Intel, citing a 1991 document outlining his sale of assets to McAfee Associates LP, in which he did not agree to stop using his name while conducting business. McAfee also points to the fact that in 2014 Intel changed the name of the McAfee antivirus line to Intel Security.
According toBloomberg, Intel is making plans to sell off its antivirus unit as part of an overall strategy to focus on its data-centre business. It’s likely the company wants to keep clear ownership of the McAfee brand while in the process of attracting potential bidders, and is therefore unhappy with McAfee putting his moniker on MGT Capital Investments.
It would be an understatement to say McAfee has had a dramatic past few years. While living in Belize in 2012, local police alleged he was tied up in unlicensed drug manufacturing, and later sought him as a person of interest after his neighbor was murdered. McAfee subsequently moved to Guatemala, and after a period of detainment he returned to the US where, in 2015, he announced his 2016 presidential campaign as a Libertarian Party Candidate, which he lost out on to New Mexico governor Gary Johnson. Two weeks ago, McAfee, now 70 years old, posted a video on YouTube titled ‘McAfee School of Badass: Now Open’. It’s… um, yeah. See for yourself.