Acorn Computers (2006)

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Acorn Computers Limited
Computer hardware
IndustryComputer hardware
FateDissolved no Closed 
PredecessorAcorn Computers
SuccessorAcorn Inc. Ltd (relaunched)
FoundedApril 2006 (second launch)
2017; 2 years ago (2017) (as Acorn Inc)
DefunctDecember 2009
HeadquartersNottingham, England, UK
ProductsdeskBOOK series
sohoNOTE series
Acorn Micro C5

Acorn Computers Ltd was a company based in Nottingham, England in the United Kingdom. It licensed, in early 2006, the dormant Acorn Computers trademark from French company Aristide & Co Antiquaire De Marques.[1] This company sold IBM PC compatible computers[2] and had no connection to ARM.[3]


An Acorn dataPOD external harddrive

In April 2006, internet news portals claimed that the company was to relaunch.[4][5] The new company announced its range before the 2006 Computer Trade Show, held at the NEC near Birmingham, UK.[6] At the show, the company distributed leaflets inviting people to "be part of one of the most exciting brand re-launches in UK history" by joining its reseller program.[7][8]


The company sold a range of laptop computers. The systems used Microsoft Windows rather than the RISC OS operating system developed by the original Acorn Computers and this incarnation of Acorn did not support or license any technologies or products of the original, apart from the name and trademark.[2][9]

The reuse of the Acorn Computers Ltd name caused an amount of confusion and controversy, particularly amongst users of the original company's products.[10]

Domain dispute[edit]

On 24 July 2006, Nominet's Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) ruled that the domain name should be transferred to the new Acorn from computer enthusiast Roy Johnson. The company made a complaint to the DRS contending that the "use of Acorn Computers' company name is illegal and has caused much confusion and continues to do so which is detrimental to [Acorn] and extremely misleading". Despite the fact that Johnson appeared to have been operating the website since at least 2001, five years before the new Acorn was registered as a company, Nominet ruled in favour of Acorn, as Johnson had not maintained an accurate record of his postal address, and mail to Johnson's registered address was returned by Royal Mail marked 'addressee has gone away'.[11][12]


Acorn Computers Ltd failed to file any accounts at Companies House, and so was struck off the limited companies register[13] and dissolved in December 2009.[14]


  1. ^ DRS Number 03682, Acorn Computers Limited and Roy Johnson, Nominet UK Dispute Resolution Service and Companies House WebCheck
  2. ^ a b Acorn Computers Limited – About, 2007
  3. ^ Malone, Steve (8 May 2006). "Acorn Computers name resurrected". PC Pro. Retrieved 18 March 2011. The new incarnation of Acorn Computers has no connection with ARM (Acorn RISC Machines, a spin-off) – which has since carved itself a lucrative niche in designing chips for mobile phones.
  4. ^ Acorn Computers to be reborn as laptop maker, Marc Penton,, 5 May 2006.
  5. ^ Acorn Computers reborn Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine,, 10 May 2006.
  6. ^ Smith, Tony (5 May 2006). "Acorn revived to launch laptop PCs". Reg Hardware. The Register. Retrieved 18 March 2011. It has said it will offer four notebooks: the 12.1in Solo Note, 14.1in Solo Book, 15.4in Desk Note and 17in Desk Book, all equipped with WXGA displays, run Windows XP and will bundle Sun's Star Office.
  7. ^ Exhibitor: Acorn Computers Ltd Archived 13 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine, Computer Trade Show 2006 website
  8. ^ Acorn is a legendary brand says new Acorn, Chris Williams,, 15 May 2006, 00:11:28GMT
  9. ^ Goodwins, Rupert (10 May 2006). "Rupert Goodwins' Diary". ZDNet. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2011. But all that's left of the company itself now finds itself employed as a badge on a series of laptops imported by a Nottingham firm with, it has to be said, almost no interesting features. The only claim to innovation the company can provide is that the screens are particularly shiny thanks to "Acorn Vybrio Technology" which gives them "a glass like finish for vibrancy and brilliance."
  10. ^ Computer Trade Show Exhibitor thread, comp.sys.acorn.misc, started 4 May 2006; It's Acorn, but not as we know them... Andrew Poole,, 5 May 2006; Acorn brand name in PC laptop launch Chris Williams,, 5 May 2006; Acorn is a legendary brand says new Acorn Chris Williams,, 15 May 2006; Onega evaluates Acorn
  11. ^ ROS fan loses Acorn domain in dispute, Josh Eilken,, 6 September 2006
  12. ^ DRS Number 03682, Acorn Computers Limited and Roy Johnson, Nominet UK Dispute Resolution Service
  13. ^ London Gazette
  14. ^ Companies House WebCheck

External links[edit]