April 20, 2017

Dell EMC loses trademark case

A Massachusetts judge last week ruled against Hopkinton-based Dell EMC in a trademark lawsuit filed against the data storage provider last year, according to court documents.

The court ruled that California-based Nexsan Technologies Inc., another data storage provider, has priority over Dell EMC for the use of "Unity," which is the name both companies used for recent hardware products. Dell EMC -- which was EMC Corp. at the time of the lawsuit before Dell acquired it for $67 billion last year -- used the name Unity at times during beta testing for a new hardware product in 2015, and argued that gave it priority.

However, Nexsan argued it filed trademark applications for the names Unity and Nexsan Unity with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office on March 22, 2016, before EMC did. The judge ruled that this gave Nexsan priority.

According to a press release from Nexsan, the company's lawyers received a letter from EMC asking them to stop using the name Unity or face legal retribution from EMC. Nexsan instead filed its own lawsuit.

"It was always going to be a challenge going up against a tech giant," said Dr. Geoff Barrall, COO at Nexsan, in a statement. "Dell acquired EMC last year giving the company even more power and weight. But, Nexsan filed its Unity trademark application first, and so we are extremely pleased today that the court has given Nexsan priority.

A spokesman for Dell EMC said the company could not comment on pending litigation, but it is reviewing all legal options.

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