We all like to waste time thinking about would haves and could haves. With the launch of owner of The Indie Lebedev's daily newspaper "i" we're wondering what would have happened if Intel had actually managed to copyright the letter.
Yes, Intel did try to copyright the letter i in the mid nineties. First of all it played the numbers game, trying to trademark 286, then 386, 486 and lastly the 586 but was slapped down. A little later it tried to trademark the letter i but didn't manage it and gave up in a barrage of derision.
But where would we be if it had succeeded? There would have never have been an iPod. There definitely wouldn't have been an iPhone or an iPad either. They would have existed but without that vital, lower case "i" branding that businesses feel is so crucial to planting an air of individuality in the hive mind of the consumer.
Would we have had a mePod? A mePhone? Those are crap, and if Apple copyrighted "Me" we wouldn't have GoogleMe and especially not Meego. What would those be called? GoogleUs? Weego? Naming your product after a pile of piddle worked well for Nintendo.
Worse, in one go, Intel would have destroyed a perfectly good vole, er vowel and a sizeable chunk of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Things we would still have: i5 and i7 cores. TechEye would still exist because Tech-i looks terrible even though some PRs insist on putting it on our name badges - like ST Micro.
Anyway, ex-KGB Lebedev talks about his new venture and his life as an international man of mystery here.