We’ve written about Apple’s attempt to command the “pod space” in terms of trademark

by the transmission of aggressive cease and desist letters.

Now it appears they’re willing to buy the parts of it they can’t merely force to surrender,

which is eminently reasonable. Certainly this does amount to an unusually aggressive, which is not to say unwise, brand protection strategy:

Apple Computer Inc., maker of the iPod digital-music player, will pay a New Jersey woman to stop using the word “pod” in the name of a protective case she designed for laptop computers, the woman said.Terry Wilson, 53, who sells the TightPod over the Internet, said Apple contacted her after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said she would soon receive a trademark for the

product. She wouldn’t say how much Cupertino, California-based Apple agreed to pay toward costs of the name change. . . .

David Ellison, founder of Mach5products.com in Lake Worth, Florida, said in an interview that he received a similar letter from Apple, asking him to stop using “pod” in the name of his Profit-Pod, a data-collection system for vending machines and arcade games.

Ellison has “responded to Apple’s letter and proposed a settlement framework,” said his lawyer, Andrew Aitken, at the Venable law firm in Washington.

By Ron Coleman

I write this blog.

2 thoughts on “Pod people paid”
  1. Hi Ron,

    Thank you for the continuing coverage of Apple’s fight over the -pod formative trademarks. The only thing that I think has been missing is a discussion of Adam Curry’s use of the term “podcasting” back to 2001 according to the Wikipedia, and interestingly, it was a technology not adopted by Apple until 2003. The related term “podcatcher” has also been used genericly. Three to four years of acquiescence by Apple would seem to be a tough row to hoe. Have you seen any formal oppositions to “pod” marks that are merely broadcasting information (versus “ipod” marks)? I understand their claims on the hardware side, but they have allowed ubiquitous generic use of the term podcasting, which was also the 2005 “Word of the Year” by New Oxford American Dictionary.

    Keep up the great work!

    John Huff, IP Paralegal

  2. Excellent questions, John! I simply having looked at it that closely, to be honest. I am giving my impressionistic sense of the matter. I do agree that Apple has its work cut out for it.

Comments are closed.