John MacAfee and Intel settle lawsuits over right to use his name on products

John McAfee at Politicon last year. Picture: Gage Skidmore

John McAfee, the creator of the eponymous antivirus software, has settled a lawsuit against Intel Corp over the right to use his name on other projects after the chipmaker bought his former company. A US District Judge in Manhattan has dismissed McAfee’s September 2016 lawsuit, and a countersuit by Intel, after a settlement agreement between the two was signed, reports Reuters.

McAfee said he sued after Intel warned him that using his name, including by renaming his digital gaming and cybersecurity company MGT Capital Investments Inc as “John McAfee Global Technologies Inc,” would infringe its trademarks. Intel countered by accusing McAfee of trademark infringement and unfair competition, and sought unspecified damages.

Under the settlement, McAfee agreed not to use his name, trademark his name or the phrase “John McAfee Privacy Phone,” or use “John McAfee Global Technologies” in connection with cybersecurity- and security-related products and services. He retained the right in other contexts to use his name in advertising, promotions and presentations, including with regard to his role at McAfee Associates, which he sold to Intel for $7.7bn in 2010.

Neither McAfee nor Intel admitted wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, which was amicable, according to court papers. McAfee’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Intel said the Santa Clara, California-based company was pleased to settle.

Intel spun off its cybersecurity division, now called McAfee LLC, in April, after agreeing to sell a 51% stake to private investment firm TPG Capital. TPG later accepted a minority investment in the business from private equity firm Thoma Bravo. Intel retained a 49% stake in McAfee, which the spinoff valued at $4.2bn including debt. John McAfee unsuccessfully sought the Libertarian Party’s nomination for the US presidency last year.