Apple: All Your Pods Are Belong to Us

Remember the kerfuffle when Re/Max tried to block the trademark registration of rival real estate company Rehava? Well, they're not the only company that knows how to play hardball.

Consider Apple (yes, that Apple, fellow fanboys), whose lawyers are pursuing the "Pod" trademarks:

What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but if its name ended in "pod," it might attract the ire of Apple's shark-like legal team.

Apple's obsession with the blockbuster success of its iPod has driven the corporation to chase down many companies attempting to use the media player's three-letter suffix in their product or business names. Names that have come under fire include MyPodder, TightPod, PodShow, and even Podium. On Monday, Sector Labs, a small business whose Video Pod trademark has been blocked by Apple, took legal action to fight back.

"It appears that Apple is not only trying to put an iPod in everybody's hands and white earbuds in everyone's ears but to control the use of our language and most particularly the word 'Pod,'" Sector Labs' lawyers wrote in a 239-page response to Apple's trademark opposition, which has blocked Video Pod's development. "If we are not careful, in Apple's quest for dominance, they will soon attempt to take over the words 'Phone' and 'Tunes' — let us hope they do not attempt a coup over the exclusive rights to the letter 'i'."

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http://www.podspeakers.com/

I believe podspeakers were here before Ipod...
Perhaps Apple will now have to hand over the rights to the name "pod" to Scandyna speakers... Or not...
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Polx: FYI, copyright and trademark are two vastly different things.

Anyway, this would not be an attempt to control the word "pod" in all uses, but as used in association with a certain type of product or trade. That's how trademark works.

Like Mike Stone said, "And if you don’t think these companies are trying to catch a free ride on Apple’s coat tails, ask yourself how they came up with a name that contains ‘pod’ in the first place."

All the companies/products mentioned are using the "pod" prefix/suffix in association with Apple- or multimedia-related ventures, which is a definite violation of Apple's trademark. The band P.O.D., the storage containers called PODS and the maternity store Pea in a Pod are not, which is why Apple isn't going after them.
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As I understand it, once the word becomes synonymous with all similar items (Kleenex), it becomes public domain. Even if Apple starts suing the pants off every company trying to get a piece of the pie (or apple pie if you will :) ) if everyone started referring to all MP3 players as ipods then they would theoretically lose the brand name.

For the record I'm not particularly mad at Apple, I just wish people would stop treating it like some holier than thou company that is only out there to spread peace and love. (and music) Just like Microsoft, they are a big company so their lively hood is determined on whether they can make a buck.
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