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post #41 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

Indeed. In fact, Blackberry were lucky that Apple didn't invent the iPhone a few years earlier. If they had, I think RIMM would have had problems with the name Blackberry.

I don't believe you can trademark an entire word category (fruit). That said, you can definitely trademark Apple and similar sounding words.
post #42 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


I don't believe you can trademark an entire word category (fruit). That said, you can definitely trademark Apple and similar sounding words.

It's not a matter of trademarking an entire word category as it is trademark laws protecting the trademark owner and consumers from other trademarks that may be confused with an existing one. I willing to bet that you can not trademark a fast food diner with any name that begins with "Mac".  Like MacDaniels, Macgyver and even Macroroni. These names might be confused with being associated with MacDonalds. Even though MacDonalds didn't trademark all the names that begins with "Mac" when they got the trademark. They have become so famous that trademark laws will protect the consumers by not granting any trademarks that is trying to take advantage of the MacDonalds brand, by trademarking a name that begins with "Mac". 

 

And as the trademark owner, do you really want a trademark for a product you market that consumers will first think it's made by another company, before yours? That's what will happen if you name your cell phone the "Strawberry". And believe me, the very last thing you want is for the consumers to think your product is made by a company that may soon be out of the cell phone business. 

 

With Apple, nearly every device is an "i" device. iMac, iPhone, iPod, iPad, iOS, iTunes, iCloud, etc. You can't name a product that competes with Apple an "i" anything unless it's a word that naturally start with the letter "i".  Now there are products that aren't made by Apple that has the "i" in front, like iHome, iLuv, iSpeakers, iGrill, etc.. All of these device don't compete with any of Apple "idevices" but they are meant to be used with an Apple "iDevice" so i'm willing to bet that Apple is more than happy to license or let them use the "i" in front of their products name as a mean of getting consumers to see just how large the "iDevice" accessory empire is. 

 

BTW- It's not an iTV because at the time (and I think there still is) there was something called an "Eye TV" that was already on the market. I'm not sure if Apple tried to trademark "iTV" or not. But I'm sure trademark laws would have prevented Apple from getting it. And I'm sure Apple at the time didn't want their customers confusing "Eye TV" as an actual iDevice made by Apple, so it's an Apple TV. 

post #43 of 48
Ok the example from the poster was wrong. You can have Blackberry and Apple.
post #44 of 48

He didn’t say it would be any good. ;)

post #45 of 48

I am not a lawyer, but I have looked into registering product and company names with the USPTO. The documents are freely available on their site for anyone to verify. The layman’s explanation on their site differs from what you wrote, and I think it should be stated what the law says. This is my understanding of the USPTO law, and different interpretations from actual lawyers would be even more accurate.

 

Registering a product name just requires it not be confused with an existing product in that industry. Also, it is more difficult (but not impossible) to copyright common words (trying to register commodity names within their industry segment would be virtually impossible). So, you have 2 important things to consider: common names & product/company names used within the same industry.

 

In the case of the “Mac-” MacDonald’s could file against another restaurant using a similar name, but not against someone in another industry such as “MacDonald’s Carpet Cleaning” because a reasonable person would not confuse the two, nor expect them to be related entities. Also, McDonald is a surname that MacDonald’s did not invent. This is why Apple’s “Mac” was never sued because is was based on a mis-spelling of the McIntosh Apple (whether it was a gaff or intentional is up for debate and changes based on who you ask — plus McIntosh Amplifiers…). Apple Computers was sued by Apple Records (the label of the Beatles), and they settled out of court with Apple Computers agreeing to not make any sound applications… (That incidentally was how the system sound “Sosumi” got its name… the engineer who made the sound app wrote “So Sue Me” as a joke and it stuck) Funny how times change and music (the iPod) is exactly what eventually saved Apple’s coffers.

 

The “i” prefix is more difficult to protect because it is a common letter, and other products existed prior to it that used a lower case “i” prefix. Apple has sent its lawyers loose on companies that tread too closely to Apple product names when they see a chance for consumer confusion. iHome & iLuv are not easily confused, whereas “MacDrive” could have been confused as Apple Tech and changed its name to HyperDrive/Hyper. However, If I made a car and called it “MacDrive”, though, since Apple has no current products in the Automotive industry, it would have a difficult time winning a lawsuit because the litmus test of confusing to the average reasonable person would be much more difficult to prove. Also, I am pretty sure that if Apple could make a case against iHome & iLuv it would because they do not like products to tarnish its brand image (both of which are designed to look good but my experience with them has been akin to flushing money down a toilet).

 

Thanks.

post #46 of 48
Folks, it's "McDonald's." There is no "a" nestled between the "M" and "c."

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #47 of 48
Oh yeah! Thanks. Tells you how often I eat at that hole.
Anyway, the explanation still stands.
post #48 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


I'm on 463 without spending a single cent so it is possible. But it is a challenge and a competition between friends.


Ok, so Saturday, half-hour train-ride, half of the people around me on their phones, probably 50% of them on Candy Crush, and I relapsed... Dude, 463?!

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