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Linux vendor Technauts challenges IBM on use of eServer name

Oct 06, 2000, 15:17 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Geralds)

By John Geralds, VNU Net

Just days afters IBM rebranded its server line under the eServer label, a small Linux server vendor has claimed it already owns the name. On Tuesday, IBM revamped its diverse server line under the eServer banner as part of a drive to bring high-end features into its mid-range products while simplifying its server sales and support structure.

But US-based Technauts, which provides pre-packaged, customisable servers for email and web services, claims it has been using the eServer name since 1998 and intends to challenge IBM for the sole use of it.

Larry Deaton, Technauts' president and chief executive, said confusion would reign if Big Blue moved ahead with the eServer title. "We have invested nearly three years in building the eServer brand name globally. It is a huge part of who we are and everything we do."

The company has been working for two years to trademark the eServer brand around the world and has also filed for trademark derivates, such as eserver.mail, and for the eServer logo in both the US and Japan.

According to Deaton, IBM's name change has already begun to create confusion for Technauts customers who have asked whether Technauts has been sold to IBM.

"IBM's announcement surprised us. We plan to ask them this week to stop using the eServer name," Deaton said.

"We clearly have applied for trademark of the brand and although not granted yet, we believe our applications will be honoured."

Technauts recently teamed up with Sun Microsystems to co-develop technology for the education market, and also has partnerships with Hitachi and Intel to target the home market, small to medium-sized businesses and service providers.

The company employs 52 staff and was founded in March 1997 by a former Cisco engineer, Ravi Periasamy. Its eServer was launched last year.

IBM declined to comment on the issue.

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