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

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
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 ]
post #2 of 74
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.

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There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #3 of 74
Escalator
Hoover
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #4 of 74
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.
post #5 of 74
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.
post #6 of 74
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
post #7 of 74
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?
melior diabolus quem scies
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post #8 of 74
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.
post #9 of 74
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.

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post #10 of 74
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.

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post #11 of 74
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.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #12 of 74
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.
NoahJ
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #13 of 74
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.

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post #14 of 74
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.
post #15 of 74
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.
post #16 of 74
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.
post #17 of 74
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.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #18 of 74
Didn't the same thing happen with the iPod?
post #19 of 74
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.
post #20 of 74
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

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post #21 of 74
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.
post #22 of 74
The iPod has been out for more than a decade, has market share greater than most expect the iPad to have in eight years and the trademark is still holding. So, why is there no worry over the iPod trademark? Could it be that pundits have collectively lost either intelligence or eyeballs over the last decade and will now grasp at straws?
post #23 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Escalator
Hoover

I don't think Apple wants to see "iPad" follow the example of "escalator" (not the best chapter in Otis's history).

Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

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.

Dyson, maybe. Bissell - not so much, or you wouldn't have misspelled it
post #24 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsimpsen View Post

The iPod has been out for more than a decade, has market share greater than most expect the iPad to have in eight years and the trademark is still holding. So, why is there no worry over the iPod trademark? Could it be that pundits have collectively lost either intelligence or eyeballs over the last decade and will now grasp at straws?

1) There was. People were starting to refer to all PMPs as iPods.

2) It look Apple a lot longer to get the lion's share of the PMP market than it did for them to get the lion's share of the tablet market.

3) This is always a concern for a company because they don't want anyone to be able to refer to anything as Coke or as an iPad. You have to fight to keep your Trademark intact but that doesn't mean it's in jeopardy simply because people are using it generically so long as you do your due diligence in protecting it.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #25 of 74
iPod effect.

Apple's competitors' laziness and hubris gave away the future of personal computing.

It's all but the iPad now.

The iPod effect, iPad style.
post #26 of 74
I think there is as much risk of this happening as people using the name iPod when they really meant Zune.
post #27 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

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.

This is regional. There are parts of the country where you 'hoover the carpet'.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #28 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

This is regional. There are parts of the country where you 'hoover the carpet'.

Perhaps there are parts of the world where you Dirt Devil it ....

On second thought, nah ...
post #29 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by ForceQuit View Post

I think there is as much risk of this happening as people using the name iPod when they really meant Zune.

There are people who use the name iPod for MP3 players in general, simply because MP3 player is a mouthful and also not easy to remember.
post #30 of 74
How about "Jacuzzi"? Most people don't know that Jacuzzi is a brand name.

http://www.jacuzzi.com/
post #31 of 74
Kleenex isn't (de facto) genericized?
post #32 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

This is regional. There are parts of the country where you 'hoover the carpet'.

I've always heard it had sexual connotations myself.
post #33 of 74
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."

Clue: There is no requirement that a trademark to be used as a verb in order to become generic. None at all.
post #34 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandros View Post

Kleenex isn't (de facto) genericized?

Escalator is the perfect example of a brand name that became generic through public, generic use of the name.

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post #35 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Escalator
Hoover

try "kleenex" and "xerox" (I'm going for the "X" factor here)
post #36 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post

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.

Agreed, the article is retarded. Slow news day I suppose.
post #37 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

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.

Hoover has been around from the early 20th century and in some parts of the world, Hoover is synonymous with vacuum.

The Dirt Devil brand is from the 1980s.
Dyson was founded in 1992.
Bissell while older than Hoover was actually better known for its carpet sweepers.
As it stands, my next vacuum is likely to be an Oreck (founded 1963).

So all in all Hoover really has had the longest to really become synonymous with vacuums.

As for "iPad", if Apple starts now, they can keep it from becoming synonymous with "Tablet", but they do need to be proactive about it.
post #38 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

This is regional. There are parts of the country where you 'hoover the carpet'.

and in that region, after i finish up hoovering, I go fishing, taking my thermos with my hot tea...
post #39 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear View Post

Hoover has been around from the early 20th century and in some parts of the world, Hoover is synonymous with vacuum.

I think this is certainly true here in the UK.... all of my family and probably most people I know refer to vacuuming as "hoovering"...

I say it all the time myself - "need to do the hoovering", even though I own a Dyson...

I'm not sure iPad has much of a problem at the moment due to lack of any real competition, but I do know a few people (mainly older less techy people like my aunties / uncles) who refer to any generic mp3 player as an iPod so there is potential for this to become an issue in the future....
post #40 of 74
But didn't all the iHaters (especially the ones on this forum conveniently being quiet) crucify Apple back in 2010 for using a name that sounded like a hygiene product, to just about every other insult under the sun? Now it's being considered a generic term to describe a tablet?

Could it be possible that those iHaters simply had zero clue about anything in life? Wow, I'm speechless.

You know who you are too.
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