This has been bubbling for the last few days: Apple’s having a “pod” brand crackdown and last week sent a cease-and-desist to Podcast Ready over its myPodder application. The legal complaint said the names Podcast Ready and myPodder “consist in substantial part of Apple’s iPod mark and contain Apple’s iPod mark in its entirety”, that myPodder is very similarly phonetically and that both names capitalize on Apple’s “fame and goodwill”. Apple does not object to the word “podcast” (there’s a distinction between IP infringement and free advertising, presumably) but the nub here is that myPodder plan to sell iPods with the software preloaded which appears to be too much of an overlap for Apple. Apple also wants Podcast Ready to withdraw its trademark applications because of the “likelihood of confusion and dilution”. Podcast Ready said it is reviewing the letter and that it will continue to work for multiple devices – not something likely to appease Apple.
Seeking Alpha has a decent summary of bloggers’ reaction to this: “To put it bluntly, this is pretty stupid. Apple should be encouraging everything about podcasting: They help sell iPods, after all.”
Jason Calacanis said anyone being sued by Apple should hold their ground. It could very well lose its ‘podcasting’ trademark application: “Apple legal will try and divide and conquer-that is why they are attacking one site at a time and doing this very covertly.”
– Protecting Brandnames: Apple Says Our Pod; Google Says No Google
– Apple Raises Ire With Move To Trademark iPodcast
This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.