December 31, 1999 1:00 PM PST

Gateway unloads Amiga name

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PC maker Gateway today sold Amiga's trademark and leftover computer systems to Amino Development for an undisclosed amount.

The news marks another chapter in the Amiga saga. Gateway in September said that it had scrapped plans to develop a new Amiga machine. At the time, Gateway said that it would consider licensing the hardware design Amiga had come up with to satisfy current users.

Today's sale, which is effective immediately, would in part appear to fulfill that promise.

"It's for the trademark, the Web address--all those kinds of things--and the inventory of Amiga parts, but none of the technology that's been worked on while it was under Gateway's auspices," said Gateway spokesman John Spelich.

Maple Valley, Wash.-based Amino could not be reached about its plans for Amiga. But in a prepared statement, company president Bill McEwen said, "Yee-haw . This is a very exciting day, and now an even more exciting tomorrow. Now we can finish the job that was started 15 years ago."

San Diego-based Gateway will retain ownership of all Amiga patents acquired when it purchased the bankrupt company.

Things looked better for Amiga in July, when Gateway revved up plans for a host of information appliances based on the then-subsidiary's technology. But following the unexpected departure of former Amiga president Jim Collas, Gateway decided to continue the information-appliance effort but redefined Amiga as a software subsidiary. Gateway will not be releasing new Amiga systems.

The decision chilled the Amiga community, which holds an almost cult-like reverence for the system, and led to the formation of the Phoenix Platform Consortium. The group of Amiga fans, including hardware and software engineers, is developing its own Amiga-like computer that is backward compatible with older versions of the Amiga operating system.


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