Eponymous antivirus pioneer agrees deal.
One of the original Cybersecurity pioneers, John McAfee, has agreed a deal with Intel not to use his own name in any company, or in any connection with other cybersecurity products, as part of a deal to end the lawsuit he brought against the global chip making giant.
A judge in Manhattan dismissed both McAfee’s 2016 lawsuit and Intel’s countersuit last week after both parties announced they had reached an agreement as to how and when McAfee could use his own name.
McAfee said he originally sued Intel after the company warned him that using his name, and renaming his digital gaming and cybersecurity company MGT Capital Investments as “John McAfee Global Technologies Inc,” would unfairly infringe its trademarks.
A little history
Intel bought the name ‘McAfee’ almost 30 years ago. Back in 1991, John McAfee sold his name-sake to Intel for $9m and for the right to use his McAfee name-brand. Less than three years later, McAfee himself decided to leave the company he had set up and named after himself, and as many journalists thought at the time, effectively going into retirement.
In 2011, Intel then bought the McAfee security company for some $7.7bn, including the 1991 McAfee brand agreement. In 2014, Intel decided to effectively drop the McAfee brand in favor of its own “Intel Security.”
Neither party admitted to wrongdoing in the settlement, which led to US district judge Paul Oetken dismissing the case five days later. John McAfee has retained the right to use his name for advertising, promotions and presentations.
Windows 95, 98 XP, et al
Back in the late 90s and early 00s, pretty much everyone with a PC were aware of McAfee Security products at some level, even if it was just the name itself. But since leaving the company he founded and sold to Intel, John McAfee has led something of a colorful life to say the least.
Worst software on the planet
McAfee called the 2013 version of the Intel owned McAfee security suite: “The worst software on the planet.” His declaration wouldn’t have raised all that may eyebrows, expcept that in a bizarre video posted online, he made the statement featuring himself, a few strippers, some suspicious white nose powder, a handgun, and a PC.
Unhinged or eccentric?
McAfee was also arrested in 2015 and charged with a DUI and firearm possession whilst driving, admitting to CNBC at the time that “I was impaired, I must admit.” His run-in with Tennessee authorities wasn’t the first brush with law enforcement authorities.
In 2012, whilst living in Belize, he illegally entered Guatemala to avoid being questioned by local police in relation to the murder of his neighbor. He was later deported back to the US. For his part, McAfee denied and denies having any involvement in the death, and claims he was never considered a suspect by Belize authorities. During this time he also wrote several blog posts detailing his fugitive life.
Intel said it is pleased that the current case is over. I can’t say I blame them.