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
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