Dell has filed a petition with the United States Patent and Trademark office to request that Psion's ownership of the word "netbook" as a trademark be cancelled.

This follows reports of Psion sending cease & desist notices to websites using the word "netbook", and the rumoured news that Google had stopped allowing "netbook" as an Adword as the phrase is actually a trademark belonging to Psion.

Although Psion did create, trademark and market a product it called a "netbook" way back in 2003, Dell argues for the trademark to be cancelled on two fronts.

The first is that the term has now been so widely used by the media, by companies producing such products and therefore consumers too that it has become a generic term in widespread use.

The second point comes under an "abandonment" argument in which Dell says that Psion is no longer actively using the term, as it does not currently offer a netbook, and does not intend to, meaning the company has "abandoned" the netbook mark.

Psion has not publicly responded to the petition, but has until 30 March to do so. We'll bring you more news on this matter when we have it.