As 'iPad' becomes synonymous with 'tablet,' Apple must protect brand

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


The success of the iPad has made it the go-to tablet for consumers, leaving Apple in a position to defend its brand and ensure it doesn't become generic.



The potential of the "iPad" name becoming generic was explored in a report on Monday by The Associated Press. The iPad name was compared to other iconic brands like aspirin and heroin, which became generic, as well as Kleenex and Band-Aid, which have not become generic despite their ubiquitous use.



In order to maintain ownership of a brand, companies must aggressively defend their trademarks to ensure they do not become generic. Apple has already experienced a similar issue with the iPod, which has dominated the portable media player market for over a decade.



Apple's rival Google has found itself in a similar situation, with the word "Google" becoming synonymous with online searches. But Google benefits from the fact that most people do not say they are "Googling" when they use a competitor like Bing or Yahoo.



But Jessica Litman, a professor of copyright law at the University of Michigan Law School, said she doesn't think Apple will have a hard time defending the "iPad" trademark, as the company has proven itself successful in the past.



"Apple is actually pretty good at this," she said. "It's able to skate pretty close to the generics line while making it very clear the name is a trademark of the Apple version of this general category."











In the holiday quarter of 2011, Apple's iPad accounted for an estimated 58 percent of global tablet shipments. Led by Amazon's Kindle Fire, Android tablets accounted for 39 percent of shipments.



The widespread acceptance, and in some cases misuse, of the iPad name is a far cry from when the device was first unveiled two years ago and the name drew criticism. Prior to its announcement, the iPad was generally known as a mythical "Apple tablet."



Apple is even fighting for the right to continue using the iPad name, as the company Proview, which released a different product named "iPAD" years ago, has sued Apple. The two companies struck a deal for the right to the iPad trademark in 2009, but Proview has argued that the agreement is not legal.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,860member
    Quote:

    But Google benefits from the fact that most people do not say they are "Googling" when they use a competitor like Bing or Yahoo.



    Yeah, because people who don't use Google are actively not using Google because they hate them.



    iPad will never be generic simply because everything else is absolute trash. You know what an iPad is and you know what everything else is.
  • irelandireland Posts: 16,077member
    Escalator

    Hoover
  • statcoderstatcoder Posts: 14member
    I'm not sure why it's a problem for Apple people to refer to tablets as iPads. That means more people walk into retail outlets and say "I'm interested in an iPad" or someone says "Send it to my iPad" or "Please turn off your iPads and other electronic devices" . Most companies would kill for that kind of name recognition.



    One time the CEO of UPS said that the biggest problem with their marketing was that people at work constantly use the word "FedEx" when they really mean overnight delivery. So, the boss says make sure to "FedEx" these to everyone before the meeting. That would seem to be good for FedEx.
  • rtm135rtm135 Posts: 310member
    I wouldn't go that far. The ASUS Transformer Prime is pretty decent and has been well received by critics.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Yeah, because people who don't use Google are actively not using Google because they hate them.



    iPad will never be generic simply because everything else is absolute trash. You know what an iPad is and you know what everything else is.



  • applebirdapplebird Posts: 78member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by StatCoder View Post


    I'm not sure why it's a problem for Apple people to refer to tablets as iPads. That means more people walk into retail outlets and say "I'm interested in an iPad" or someone says "Send it to my iPad".



    One time the CEO of UPS said that the biggest problem with their marketing was that people at work constantly use the word "FedEx" when they really mean overnight delivery. So, the boss says make sure to "FedEx" these to everyone before the meeting. That would seem to be good for FedEx.



    I hope you are
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,268member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Yeah, because people who don't use Google are actively not using Google because they hate them.



    Why would you hate them? They're have a better search engine than their competitors IMO, and definitely have more search options and available features. Which of the other search engines can offer better and more thorough mapping world-wide. . .



    or can translate foreign language pages...



    or can do image searches...



    or find the source of a book passage...



    or offers the equivalent of Google Reader...



    or can search the full text of patents...



    I've needed to do every one of those within the past few days and Google is the only one-stop search engine that I know of with the capability. Are there others?
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,297member
    People want iPads. They don't want a generic tablet. The sales figures and the complete dominance of iPads backs up that statement. Nothing comes close to an iPad. Most people who opt for a generic tablet do so primarily because they are either dirt poor or extremely cheap.
  • SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 25,345member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Yeah, because people who don't use Google are actively not using Google because they hate them.



    iPad will never be generic simply because everything else is absolute trash. You know what an iPad is and you know what everything else is.



    Exactly. No one says "Let me iPad this before I make a decision", or "Whenever I travel, I iPad all my travel details to my secretary."



    There is little danger of iPad becoming a generic term because you usually talk about the apps, not the iPad, unless you are describing the beautiful graphics or speed in comparison to the trash the competition puts out.
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Exactly. No one says "Let me iPad this before I make a decision", or "Whenever I travel, I iPad all my travel details to my secretary."



    There is little danger of iPad becoming a generic term because you usually talk about the apps, not the iPad, unless you are describing the beautiful graphics or speed in comparison to the trash the competition puts out.



    Our website is compatible with all iPads including those from Google and Amazon.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by StatCoder View Post


    I'm not sure why it's a problem for Apple people to refer to tablets as iPads. That means more people walk into retail outlets and say "I'm interested in an iPad" or someone says "Send it to my iPad" or "Please turn off your iPads and other electronic devices" . Most companies would kill for that kind of name recognition.



    One time the CEO of UPS said that the biggest problem with their marketing was that people at work constantly use the word "FedEx" when they really mean overnight delivery. So, the boss says make sure to "FedEx" these to everyone before the meeting. That would seem to be good for FedEx.



    It's an obvious problem for Apple because if it becomes generic, someone could walk into Best Buy and ask for an iPad - and have the employee sell them a Samsung Tab.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Why would you hate them? They're have a better search engine than their competitors IMO, and definitely have more search options and available features. Which of the other search engines can offer better and more thorough mapping world-wide. . .



    or can translate foreign language pages...



    or can do image searches...



    or find the source of a book passage...



    or offers the equivalent of Google Reader...



    or can search the full text of patents...



    I've needed to do every one of those within the past few days and Google is the only one-stop search engine that I know of with the capability. Are there others?



    There are several others that are just as good 99% of the time. I almost never find that Yahoo or Bing doesn't give me the answer to my search.



    The reason some people hate Google is their cavalier attitude toward privacy and intellectual property (at least, everyone's intellectual property but their own). I'm still steaming over their attempt to copy every published work and make it available on the Internet (for Google's profit, of course) even without the author's permission.
  • noahjnoahj Posts: 4,500member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Why would you hate them? They're have a better search engine than their competitors IMO, and definitely have more search options and available features. Which of the other search engines can offer better and more thorough mapping world-wide. . .



    or can translate foreign language pages...



    or can do image searches...



    or find the source of a book passage...



    or offers the equivalent of Google Reader...



    or can search the full text of patents...



    I've needed to do every one of those within the past few days and Google is the only one-stop search engine that I know of with the capability. Are there others?



    I use Google for most every search I do, but from what I understand Bing offers many if not all of those services. I never use them so i cannot say for sure.
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post


    I use Google for most every search I do, but from what I understand Bing offers many if not all of those services. I never use them so i cannot say for sure.



    In my opinion Bing lost all credibility when they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar by scrapping Google search results queried by users of IE and then incorporating them into the Bing indexing.
  • redbarchettaredbarchetta Posts: 149member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    iPad will never be generic simply because everything else is absolute trash. You know what an iPad is and you know what everything else is.



    That's a very short-sided thing to say. I agree iPad likely won't become generic, but it won't be long before non-"trash" tablets come out.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,297member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    It's an obvious problem for Apple because if it becomes generic, someone could walk into Best Buy and ask for an iPad - and have the employee sell them a Samsung Tab.



    That sounds like more of a problem for Best Buy. When that customer gets home and eventually realizes that they were misled and they were not actually sold an iPad, like their friends had told them about or shown them, or that they had heard amazing things about, then they are going to be pretty upset.
  • grbladegrblade Posts: 85member
    What?! No one calls generic tablets 'iPads.' Only iPads are iPads and everyone knows it. People say 'tablet' for everything else. This is a non-issue.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by redbarchetta View Post


    That's a very short-sided thing to say. I agree iPad likely won't become generic, but it won't be long before non-"trash" tablets come out.



    Well, they've had two years. And still no one cares about them.



    And iPhone competitors have had five years. But still a THREE YEAR OLD phone sells better than any of them.
  • michael scripmichael scrip Posts: 1,903member
    Didn't the same thing happen with the iPod?
  • isheldonisheldon Posts: 570member
    Everyone says- "Google it."

    No one says "Bing it"

    "Google" is generic for search.





    iPad is synonomous with iPad only- it stands alone. Like the iPod . You ask for either in a store and you get exactly them- not some other tablet or MP3 player.
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by grblade View Post


    What?! No one calls generic tablets 'iPads.' Only iPads are iPads and everyone knows it. People say 'tablet' for everything else. This is a non-issue.



    The point is to be proactive. You can't get the toothpaste back in the tube.



    "My wife got the kids some Apple iPads for Christmas."



    No honey I bought those other iPads that were on sale, I can't remember the name right now."



    Sure it sounds clueless now but that is how things seep into the public consciousness
  • hittrj01hittrj01 Posts: 753member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Escalator

    Hoover



    I agree with your premise, but I don't think Hoover is synonymous with its market. Dirt Devil, Dyson, and Bissel are all very well known as well.
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