Apple in legal battle over the use of "pod"

Apple isn’t afraid of taking legal action against anyone that uses a term that they believe may cause some confusion amongst consumers. Whether you’re using the letter "I", a logo with an apple (as with this Australian Supermarket), the word "pod", or any other term that Apple considers their property, you’ll probably end up in court.

The BBC reports that Sector Labs, the developer of a video projector called the 'Video Pod', are Apple’s latest target. To help explain their case, Apple has filed an 873-page briefing paper which explains why Apple has exclusive domain over the word "pod". Sector Labs plans to fight Apple on this case, not because they need the name, but instead because they believe that Apple’s attempt to control the use of English words in branding is wrong. Additionally, as Sector Labs’ product is a video projector, a product that is not in any way competing with Apple’s product range (especially not the iPod), it’s hard to see why Apple raised issue with this to begin with.

It’s often overlooked by the press that all of this legal action is coming from a company that announced the iPhone before even asking Cisco for permission to use that name, and launched a music store under the Apple brand in contradiction to their deal with Apple Music. That’s the very definition of the pot calling the kettle black.

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111 Comments

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Seriously? I think there's gotta be a point where you can draw the line. Attacking companies with similar logos and names, but that don't even have anything to do with any of the markets that Apple is in?

Wow. Just wow.

Bemani Dog said,
One of these days Apple is going to end up bullying the wrong company, and it will cost them dearly.

+1

This is what happens when big greedy companies make too much money, they think they can do anything....so sad. I once bought an ipod, it was crap, waste of 99 quid. I just went back to humming tunes in my head while I walk the streets.

stablemist said,
I wonder what's going to happen to podcasts. Will Apple try and have them renamed to something else?
There's been history of Apple & other companies trying this and not being successful http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast#Trademarks
I actually think the term "podcast" misleads a lot of people to thinking you can only listen to them on an iPod but unfortunately it seems to ingrained to ever change.

There is only 26 characters in the English language, there must be some leeway where like names are fine to use as long as there are not in the same business.
This kind of action is ridiculous. About time for the court systems to realize this.

Apple trying to stop the use of a word that's at least 2500 years old the only thing more stupid than that is it wouldn't surprise me if the US courts let 'em do it.

amon91 said,
This is called abuse of the legal system. Everyone does it nowadays because our laws are outdated.

Yes and no, it's not really outdated, they revise laws all the time.... but it's flawed. Flawed and way too laxed.

What is funny is that a company near where I live should actually SUE APPLE for the use of the word POD-- They are a natural gas company and have been using the name POD since 1961..... It is on all their trucks.... P.O.D. Gas . (piedmont onsite delivery gas)

That would make one heck of a battle should they decide to take down apple. That was well before apple was founded.

Million and Billion dollar companies are fighting over literally words to be put on products, very childish for Apple, but they will never change, Steve Jobs is the biggest arrogant and stupid CEO of all time, Cisco should just use iOS to really kick Apple in the face on whatever the product may be.Apple is so close minded and will always will be there gonna crash, I promise you, just like they did in the 80s.I will never ever touch an Apple product in my entire life, pathetic losers.

Steve Big Jobbie and his company are all douche bags maybe they should patent Steve Big Jobbie and douche bag, then at least people will understand where the threat is coming from. Apple is rotten to the core. No pun intended.

kryten said,
Why don't the makers of Kotex go after Apple for using the word "PAD"?

Perhaps because they're a company with ethics?

wonder how long before they go after the people who make the pods storage containers for using the pods name ?

it would be fun to see apple explain how a person can get a storage container and an mp3 player confused with each other


nkaHnt said,
I will never buy any apple things again

this also includes apple, apple juice and the apple pie!

What about Pineapple stuff? lol

thommcg said,
Apple and Litigation are like peas in a... Uh-oh, watch out Green Giant
More seriously though; it's like Lindows (remember that?). If it's a tech product and the name ends with Pod, it'll be assumed to be an Apple product, that's Apples argument I guess.
Microsoft won against Lindows, was chained to Linspire

If they called themselves the "iVideo Pod", then I would understand, but this simply madness and greed.

cRuNcHiE said,
What about a house to put your ipod in during festivals?
http://www.podpads.com/

Thing is, that's a small time website/company that someone started in their house, however, Sector Labs is Australia's largest retailer which has $ wrote at the end of the tunnel for Apple if they win cause they could charge WOOLWORTHS a license fee of some kind not to mention what they can get after suing them if it wins in favor for Apple.

**** Apple & **** Steve Jobs. I hope this lawsuit goes for a long time making them loose lots of mony. It doesen't matter how much money Apple has, as they love it THAT MUCH, it'll hurt.

It's time for Stevie to get effing fired.

If their company name was made up, a unique name not commonly found in any dictionary, I'd support their actions. But claiming a word to be "theirs" that's been around before any of these people were born, it is just beyond me. Somehow I do think that if they put enough money into this, they'll win, and soon you have to pay fees to big companies when you speak/write, cause they own the whole dictionary!

Thats like saying your trademarking the color blue cause its in your logo.. Facebook trying to trademark anything with face or book in the name lol. It's a word, a shape, or even a color it makes no difference it can't be trademarked entirely. Otherwise H&R Block should trademark the square shape and the color green and sue anyone who uses those design patterns/colors in any product cause it resembles their trademark to much and make cause confusion even though 1 deals with taxes and lets say the other deals in selling shoes...

FaceBook/Apple are becoming a rather nuisances lately.. I respect Apples technology but not their legal and administrative methods...

Colours can be trademarked - but only for that industry. So, for example, if another soft drink tried using Coke's read in a way that would be misleading, Coke can strike (which is fair). But Apple is taking this to a whole new crazy level.

mrmckeb said,
Colours can be trademarked - but only for that industry. So, for example, if another soft drink tried using Coke's read in a way that would be misleading, Coke can strike (which is fair). But Apple is taking this to a whole new crazy level.

True, its like Ford Blue, it's trade marked by Ford, but its also a completely unique color of mixtures within R-G-B.. A shape which is an apple is not as specific as lets say using the exact color code that IS trademarked.. But if the company used an identical apple that Apple uses specifically than I can see a point to them going to court in this case however I don't see the point of it causing confusion..

It's sad to see Apple's marketing division looking to do evil with so much passion, Apple is a great company, but things like this are absurd, in a rational/decent country, you can't win a case such as this, or even the supermarket logo that has nothing to do with the well known Apple logo... whatever, i guess, if you can make some money of someone, why not do it....

roadwarrior said,

Says the person using a version of the Firefox logo as his avatar. Oh, the irony.

Irony? Give me a break.

roadwarrior said,

Says the person using a version of the Firefox logo as his avatar. Oh, the irony.
I don't think you understand the concept of irony very well.

Since "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers" (novel in 1955, movies in 1956,1978 and 1993) actually had people commonly using the word "POD" outside of references to peas, I would say the claim lacks merit. Any judge who sides with @pple in this is retarded and has obviously been paid off.

I could never support such a company. What a disgraceful thing to do. It's a shame because they do make some fantastic products.

I'm still going to make my product with the word pod in it. I've got some panda gig going on and I plan to use it still. So theeeere.

Hope they don't sue Nasa for originally calling the space capsule a POD!! Or if you watch The Right Stuff hmm maybe they'll sue the right stuff o_O

PatrynXX said,
Hope they don't sue Nasa for originally calling the space capsule a POD!! Or if you watch The Right Stuff hmm maybe they'll sue the right stuff o_O

Haha, no, imagine a war between Apple and Nasa.

Jose_49 said,

Haha, no, imagine a war between Apple and Nasa.
Maybe NASA could launch Steve into space. That would be the end of that!

Oh, wait... They may not be able to due to the cut backs... Darn.

smartin0115 said,
You know Apple, this BS doesn't help my ongoing battle of deciding over a Zune HD or an iPod Touch...

Surely it'll be the Zune then? Microsoft are gonna whoop Apple over the next year or so I think.

smartin0115 said,
You know Apple, this BS doesn't help my ongoing battle of deciding over a Zune HD or an iPod Touch...
I'd wait till next year, though. Supposedly there might be a new Zune HD (WP7 without the phone, hopefully) in 2011.

I have a Zune HD (have had it for a year or more, I think...), and I love it!

Mr Spoon said,

Surely it'll be the Zune then? Microsoft are gonna whoop Apple over the next year or so I think.

Yea releasing Zune media player sure showed Apple!

Update: Apple is taking legal action on stores worldwide for using the word 'apple' in their products. This includes the Golden Delicious Apple, the Granny Smith Apple, and specifically, the Macintosh Apple.

Ferron said,
Update: Apple is taking legal action on stores worldwide for using the word 'apple' in their products. This includes the Golden Delicious Apple, the Granny Smith Apple, and specifically, the Macintosh Apple.

M_Lyons10 said,
This is really ridiculous. Apple is getting out of control.

getting?! haven't they been for ages?

MFH said,

getting?! haven't they been for ages?
Exactly... but it is as though every turns their head. However, whenever any company does something little, ANTITRUST or ANTICOMPETITIVE.

Tha Bloo Monkee said,
Ridiculous. Buying Apple products supports garbage like this, which is the sad part.

+4

Tha Bloo Monkee said,
Ridiculous. Buying Apple products supports garbage like this, which is the sad part.

Just goes to show, they have too much money and don't know what to do with it.

[quote=Tha Bloo Monkee said,]Ridiculous. Buying Apple products supports garbage like this, which is the sad part.[/quote

+11

Tha Bloo Monkee said,
Ridiculous. Buying Apple products supports garbage like this, which is the sad part.

+18

Keep it coming.

Tha Bloo Monkee said,
Ridiculous. Buying Apple products supports garbage like this, which is the sad part.

If you feel that way you might as well stop using commercial products altogether.

Tha Bloo Monkee said,
Ridiculous. Buying Apple products supports garbage like this, which is the sad part.

+23
That is why I don't use their products. I'm not cool enough for them, anyways.

seriously?..... how long until Apple tries to say the word phone is theirs also because the iPhone is so widely known and sues all phone mfg's?

neufuse said,
seriously?..... how long until Apple tries to say the word phone is theirs also because the iPhone is so widely known and sues all phone mfg's?

HAHAHAHA

dogmai said,

It's actually just the OS running on them isn't it? I'm not trying to be an ass. Just a question.

Yes, it's a trademark (not a "patented name") for an OS that runs on some of their products.