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Apple claims 'pod' mark ownership

updated 04:20 am EDT, Tue August 15, 2006

'Pod' mark ownership

Apple is again aggressively trying to control its iPod trademark and branding; however, a new report suggests that the company may have gone too far with its current efforts. Having already registered 'pod' in Europe (and with a pending US application), Apple's legal team has sent a 'cease & desist' to companies using 'pod' in their own product names and materials--even "if the product you make doesn't look, smell, feel, or do anything remotely close to what an iPod does, and even if consumers can't buy it on the shelves in a store, that apparently doesn't mean Apple won't release its legal dogs on you if the name of your product includes the letters P-O-D," according to ZDNet. New reports note that the company has sent cease and desist letters to at least two companies that use 'pod', including a company that manufacturers a device that can be used to wirelessly track sales from an arcade game using a PC.

Apple has also gone after a company that uses the 'pod' mark in its URL to sell printed spandex laptop cases--designed specifically for Apple products. Neither product appears to bear any direct resemblance to the iPod, despite Apple's claims to the contrary.

In its letter to TightPods, Apple noted that it already owns registrations for the 'POD' trademark in European Community and has a pending application in the US (serial No. 78/459,101) for the POD mark.

"We believe there is confusing similarity between Apple's IPOD and POD marks and the TIGHTPOD mark. TIGHTPOD is a POD-suffixed mark, which incorporates a substantial portion of Apple's IPOD mark and the POD mark in its entirety," the company said in its letter to TightPods. "The products are indisputably related: TIGHTPOD bags are for direct use with Apple's IPOS device ("Protective carrying cases for portable music players namely MP3 players"). As such, the TIGHTPOD mark will inevitably cause consumer confusion as to the source of the products and dilute Apple's famous IPOD mark."

Earlier this year, Apple filed a trademark infringement claim against a company that owns--but is not yet using--the term "spod". The Spodradio website claims to be the next-generation of mobile radio, enabling users to subscribe to podcasts on smartphones without the need to connect to a PC--and thus bypassing Apple's iTunes.

by MacNN Staff





  1. purpleshorts

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sue the Peas!

    Watchout PeaPod (grocery service)... Line6 Pod (an amp simulator for electric guitars)... sticky Pod (camera mount)...

    Revenge of the name snatchers! Apple (whose name brings up an image of the Abbey Road album in the basement, for some reason) will defend their right to the name POD!

  1. thoughtoutbiz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    i-P-E-D too!

    Apple sent us a cease and desist for the word i-P-E-D, claiming all the same reasons!

    Now we are just PED, PED2 etc. (iPod PEDestal's/stands)

    Just a thought: Wouldn't you think it would be or has ben helpful for APPLE to have all this naming recognitions?

  1. Sebastien

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I guess I won't get one..

    I guess I won't get an iP*d then, for fear of getting sued by Apple for actually owning something with 'p*d' in its name, even if it is from Apple.

    Let the Apple-apologist-zealot rants begin!

  1. mgpalma

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hmmm, do you think

    POD, the band, should go after Apple for using *their* name? The band was formed in 1992.

  1. MacnnGregor

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What about iPodnn?

    Apple zealots don't need to apologize for Apple's over-reaction to names and marks, but we have to admit that the new Verizon Chocolate and the upcoming Zune do imitate the look and relative functions of the iPod and thus they do need to be vigilant ... unfortunately.

  1. ronjamin

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Lets really look at the problem. It's the dam lawyers.

    How many problems are created by lawyers. Let's follow William Shakespeare's advice: "the first thing we do. let's kill all the lawyers".


  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The only thing I have to say about lawyers is that 1000 lawyers at the bottom of the sea is a good start!

    They are a more of a scourge to western civilization that terrorism. However, if lying, cheating and stealing were removed from the definition of "zealously representing your client" then it might become a respectable profession again. Something tells me though that I'll never live long enough for that to happen.

    You just know that there are companies out there who have been using the POD name before the iPod shipped and they will defend their right to use it. Then Apple will loose it's right to use POD and iPod. This is not a smart move by Apple.

  1. chas_m



    What's the issue here?

    Look, it's really pretty simple.

    IF Apple gets too aggressive or overreaches in its attempt to protect its trademark, they will eventually LOSE IN COURT.

    There's no sense in even mentioning this story, inasmuch as it's not news.

  1. xenopdx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: lawyers

    If you don't want lawyers, go live in North Korea where the leader is the law. Just be glad there are lawyers out there who are defending our basic rights everyday from King George.

  1. mhedstrom

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: lawyers

    Lawyers are like aging: they may suck, but they are better than the alternative, as xenopdx rightly points out.


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