Apple sued over iBooks name

Apple has found itself in yet another court battle to fight over the use of a name it has given to one of its many online services. This time the dispute is over iBooks, the name of the downloadable book service that Apple launched over a year ago at the same time it launched its first iPad tablet device. AppleInsider reports that a lawsuit was filed on Wednesday by John T. Colby, the founder and publisher of Brick Tower Press and J. Boylston & Company, Publishers.

That company bought out the assets to the "ibooks" trademark from now defunct publisher Byron Preiss which released a number of book titles with that imprint for several years. The lawsuit claims that Apple's use of the iBooks name for its downloadable book library, "is likely to overwhelm the good will of plaintiffs’ ‘ibooks’ and ‘ipicturebooks’ marks and render them virtually worthless." During last week's Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple revealed that there were 130 million downloads of ebooks via the iBook store for the iPad and iPhone.

Of course Apple is already being sued for the use of yet another name with the typical "i" branding. Last week iCloud Communications filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging that the name Apple choose for its streaming cloud-based music service, iCloud, could cause "customer confusion" for iCloud Communications, a VoIP-based company for businesses. iCloud Communications is seeking all the profits from Apple's use of the iCloud name for its service which has yet to officially launch.

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Elliott said,
I can't help but wonder if people squat on these iWhatever trademarks so they can sue Apple when Apple (inevitably) uses them.

Well, some of these people started using the names AFTER Apple did. If they are a small enough company, it is quite possible that they stayed under Apple's radar long enough to not get sued themselves.

Elliott said,
I can't help but wonder if people squat on these iWhatever trademarks so they can sue Apple when Apple (inevitably) uses them.

While I am sure that some people TM iWhatever just in the hopes that they can make a buck off Apple, there have been a number of instances where people were not "squatting" but Apple used the name anyway without consideration of the trademarks of others.

From wikipedia:
The first iPhone was released in 1998 by InfoGear Technology Corporation

That is not a vaporware product, but an actual, shipping product that was later purchased by Cisco.

nohone said,

That is not a vaporware product, but an actual, shipping product that was later purchased by Cisco.

In the iPhone case, Apple and Cisco had already been in discussions over the trademark at the time of the iPhone announcement. From what I understand, they were just short of reaching a deal on it anyway, so Apple went ahead with the announcement, which kind of irritated someone at Cisco.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone#Intellectual_property (read a couple of paragraphs in on that).

roadwarrior said,

In the iPhone case, Apple and Cisco had already been in discussions over the trademark at the time of the iPhone announcement. From what I understand, they were just short of reaching a deal on it anyway, so Apple went ahead with the announcement, which kind of irritated someone at Cisco.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone#Intellectual_property (read a couple of paragraphs in on that).

Kinda funny how Apple considered talking to Cisco about the name but they'll squat on other company's and not care when they use a TMed name from them.. Just goes to show you they feared being sued by Cisco but believe they're untouchable by the smaller less financially lawyer set company's .

techbeck said,
They also took the name iDisk from this site....
http://www.memecode.com/idisk.php

Reason why they are not bitching probably is they are a small company...one person really.

Hmmm, his earliest release of the software seems to have been in 2002, which is two years after Apple introduced their iDisk feature in iTools (the former name of .Mac/MobileMe/iCloud).

roadwarrior said,

Hmmm, his earliest release of the software seems to have been in 2002, which is two years after Apple introduced their iDisk feature in iTools (the former name of .Mac/MobileMe/iCloud).

Did they patent/copyright...whatever the name?

And I didnt know iDisk was used that long ago. Was not really paying much attention to Macs 10+ years ago.

techbeck said,

Did they patent/copyright...whatever the name?

And I didnt know iDisk was used that long ago. Was not really paying much attention to Macs 10+ years ago.


You don't patent a name. You trademark it. And yes it was trademarked when it was unveiled with the iTools suite.

giga said,

You don't patent a name. You trademark it. And yes it was trademarked when it was unveiled with the iTools suite.

Yea, thats what I meant. Been a long morning thus far. You know its going to be a long day when a PC tech tells you that plugging in a USB device while the PCs is on can fry a machine....some people

techbeck said,

You know its going to be a long day when a PC tech tells you that plugging in a USB device while the PCs is on can fry a machine....some people

Slap the fool in the face with a handful of USB cables!!!!

roadwarrior said,

Slap the fool in the face with a handful of USB cables!!!!

I put him on report...haha. Had a big HR meeting yesterday. Still banging my head against the wall on this one.

techbeck said,
You know its going to be a long day when a PC tech tells you that plugging in a USB device while the PCs is on can fry a machine....some people

That gave me a good laugh.

Seriously, even back in the day when things had prongs and were supposedly going to fry your machine, I never had issues. LPT, keyboard/mouse, monitors, serial... you name it and it didn't fry

roadwarrior said,
Uhh, how long has Byron Preiss had this trademark, because Apple has had the iBook (without the s) trademark since about 1998 (when it was used with their laptops).
According to Wikipedia, it seems that they might have started using the name around 2000 (so after Apple did): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B...f_Byron_Preiss_publications

But you can't really argue consumer confusion with a book publisher and a line of laptop. However moving it over to books, it becomes a point of confusion as they appear to be in the same business.

Much like Apple Computer vs. Apple Corps, it gets down to will a consumer easily confuse the two.

Don't get me wrong, this group sounds like they are trolling, especially if the original owner did not care(SCO or Oracle anyone?) enough to fight it.

That means that they will lose in court easily. I hope Apple win because their usually trademark their respective names.

DukeEsquire said,

iBook and iBooks are two separate trademarks.


In some cases, yes, but in other cases the singular and plural forms are both included.

Apple should buy rights, of all possible iWords before hand in all countries. They have enough money to do that.

I wish a judge would say that any use of an iProduct name is retarded, unoriginal and doesn't deserve protection under copyright law.

Take that Apple Fail.
FMH: Apple should not be allowed to buy the words without paying for the words.
LordBattleBeard: i totally agree.

Word Mark IBOOKS
Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: computer [ hardware and ] software used to support and create interactive, user-modifiable electronic books. FIRST USE: 20001027. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20001027
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Serial Number 75182820
Filing Date October 8, 1996
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition August 12, 1997
Change In Registration CHANGE IN REGISTRATION HAS OCCURRED
Registration Number 2446634
Registration Date April 24, 2001
Owner (REGISTRANT) FAMILY SYSTEMS LIMITED COMPANY UNITED KINGDOM 8, St. George's Street Douglas ISLE OF MAN IM1 1AH
(LAST LISTED OWNER) APPLE INC. CORPORATION CALIFORNIA 1 INFINITE LOOP CUPERTINO CALIFORNIA 95014

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