MGT Capital Investments (MGT) has filed a lawsuit against Intel Corp. (INTC), seeking a court ruling that MGT's use of John McAfee Global Technologies doesn’t infringe upon trademark rights of Intel or breach any agreements between the two.
Alleged "Improper Use" of Name
In a lawsuit filed on September 2 in a New York district court, MGT Capital said it wants Intel to give up the rights to the McAfee name, arguing Intel is “improperly” using it and preventing John McAfee from “earning a livelihood using” his own name. (See, also: MGT Capital Jumps After Share Rescind Request.)
During the past twenty-five years McAfee Associates, founded by John McAfee, has been involved in mergers and acquisitions that resulted in its name changing first, to Network Associates, and then back to McAfee Associates. In 2010 Intel purchased the company for $7.6 billion, renaming it Intel Security. According to reports, Intel is now looking to sell the business with private equity firms showing interest. (See, also: Could Intel Exit the Data Security Business?)
MGT Capital contends that upon announcing it was changing its name to John McAfee Technologies, Intel informed MGT Capital it owned the McAfee name. Disputing that, in the lawsuit MGT Capital said the sale of McAfee Associates was for certain business assets but didn’t include the transfer or otherwise assign rights to McAfee’s personal name nor did the agreement include any non-compete clauses. “Any trademarks pertaining to doing business as ‘McAfee Associates’ were subsequently canceled or abandoned,” MGT Capital contends. "In my opinion, it has been Intel improperly using my name, and I have not been happy that the general public associates Intel's products with me,” McAfee added.
The 70 year-old cybersecurity expert has lived a life filled with controversy. While living in Belize in 2012, McAfee was held but not charged with “alleged unlicensed drug manufacturing and weapons possession,” according to Bloomberg News. McAfee was also a person of interest in the murder case of his neighbor Gregory Viant Faull. McAfee, who maintains his innocence, went to Guatemala and eventually came back to the U.S. Late last year he announced he’s running for president of the Libertarian Party. He failed in his bid, running on a platform focused on cybersecurity.
Shareholders are scheduled to vote on its plan to acquire two security businesses and rename the company John McAfee Global Technologies. It also wants to issue 43.8 million to cover the purchases of the two companies: D-Vasive, Inc. and Demonsaw. The shareholder meeting is slated for September 8th.