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IBM Suing Clone Makers to Protect Its New PC Line

August 25, 1987|CARLA LAZZARESCHI | Times Staff Writer

In an apparent effort to scare clone makers away from its new line of personal computers, IBM has filed trademark-infringement suits against two computer accessory makers.

The suits, filed in the U.S. district courts in Los Angeles and San Francisco, allege that AST Research of Irvine and Orchid Technology of Fremont, Calif., misused IBM's trademarked name of its new "PS/2" system in recent ads.

In addition, the suit against AST charges that the company violated IBM's trademark by using the suffix "/2" in the name of two new AST products, "Rampage/2" and "Advantage/2," accessory boards that increase the memory storage capacity of the new IBM PCs.

IBM said Monday that it is "in settlement discussions with both companies."

Dennis Leibel, AST's treasurer, said his company has pulled the ads and that he believes the suit will be settled "shortly, and with no penalties." IBM asked for unspecified damages in both suits, which were filed last month.

Although the suits involve advertisements, not hardware, they were viewed by some industry insiders as attempts by the giant computer maker to notify competitors that it will protect its new line from clone makers, who have taken a large piece of the PC business away from IBM by boldly imitating its initial product line.

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