Originally Posted by jungmark
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.