MGT Capital Investments Inc. (NYSEMKT:MGT) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) are set for a legal duel over the rights to the name McAfee. It turns out that when Intel learnt that MGT was planning to rename itself to John McAfee Global Technologies, Intel claimed that it owned trademark rights to the name McAfee, something that MGT is strongly disputing.
The matter has moved to court where MGT Capital Investments Inc. (NYSEMKT:MGT) is seeking to have Intel barred from laying claim to the McAfee identity. In particular, MGT wants the court to declare that using the name John McAfee Global Technologies neither violates Intel’s trademark claims nor breaches any prior agreement between the two companies.
The identity dispute that MGT Capital Investments Inc. (NYSEMKT:MGT) and Intel are having seems to stem from a loophole in a contract the two companies entered into a few years ago. In 2010, Intel paid $7.6 billion to acquire a cybersecurity business called McAfee Associates. Intel went on to rebrand the business as Intel Security but a key security product within the security division persisted as McAfee antivirus.
John McAfee founded McAfee Associates that created the antivirus products that were part of the assets sold to Intel. However, at some point McAfee Associates changed its name to Network Associates before backpedaling on the move to rename itself back to McAfee Associates before selling to Intel.
McAfee ownership dispute – MGT Capital Investments Inc. (NYSEMKT:MGT)
Because of the deal that Intel had with McAfee Associates several years ago, Intel believes that the name McAfee is its trademark asset and no one should use that name for business without first obtaining its permission.
However, MGT Capital Investments Inc. (NYSEMKT:MGT) and Mr. McAfee, the creator of McAfee Associates and its namesake security products, are challenging Intel’s position. Mr. McAfee in particular is saying that there is no way Intel can block him from earning a livelihood using a name that he rightfully own.
MGT Capital Investments Inc. (NYSEMKT:MGT) said that the sale of McAfee Associates to Intel did not give the buyer exclusive rights to the name McAfee.
Intel is reportedly in the process of selling Intel Security.