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Apple files for Podcasting trademark

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
In what could be construed as its latest attempt to make Podcasting proprietary, Apple this month filed for a trademark on the term "iPodcast."

On Sept. 4th the iPod maker made two filings with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the iPodcast trademark, both of which are awaiting the assignment of an examining attorney.

The first filing seeks a trademark on the term iPodcast, which covers hardware-related goods, namely "computers, computer peripherals, hand held computers, computer terminals, personal digital assistants, electronic organizers, electronic notepads, apparatus for recording, transmission and reproduction of sounds, images, or other data; magnetic data carriers."

A second filing requests that the iPodcast trademark cover services, including "telecommunications services; communication by computer, computer intercommunication; telex, telegram and telephone services; rental, hire and leasing of communications apparatus and of electronic mailboxes; electronic bulletin board services," etc.

Earlier this year, the RSS community chastised Apple for creating proprietary tags within the document type definition (DTD) it released to support Podcasting in iTunes 4.9. Reports suggested that move was "part of an unsupported effort to make the iTunes DTD proprietary, and a Podcast's inclusion in the iTunes catalog exclusive to Apple."

Already Apple's iTunes music store is destine to become the Internet's premier Podcast resource. It currently features over 15,000 podcasts, with approximately 1000 podcasts being added each week.

So far Apple has yet to use the term iPodcast amongst its music products.
post #2 of 28
nobody calls them "iPodcasts". Why add the "I"? It's obvious that podcast was coined from iPod.
post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
nobody calls them "iPodcasts". Why add the "I"? It's obvious that podcast was coined from iPod.

Its probably going to be used as a quality mark, ie. "This podcast works 100% with an Apple iPod!" thingy.
"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
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"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
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post #4 of 28
I'm sure it's a strategic thing; Apple certainly didn't coin the term Podcast; however it can be seen as a contraction of iPodcast, which most certainly is related to what I assume is the trademarked term iPod, and so much easier for them to win. Having secured iPodcast, they will have much firmer grounds for asserting control over the use of the term Podcast. Most definitely will end up causing a battle of legal egos down the road.
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
nobody calls them "iPodcasts". Why add the "I"? It's obvious that podcast was coined from iPod.

because its hardware or software to make creating podcasts easier to record and distribute.

right now it's still a pain. their quicktime pro and garageband solutions are not built for making podcasting mainstream. there is a lot apple can do to improve the workflow here. i fully expect a consumer-oriented app (possibly part of iLife 06) that is centered around creating podcasts and publishing them via proper RSS feeds to iTunes, adding coverart and chapters, etc. CLI tool for that? wtf? talk about a temporary last minute solution.
most mortals don't fully understand RSS or xml, if they even have ever heard of them. a reasonably priced microphone would not be surprising either (think iSight, but for podcasting).

dillyo1001
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by dillyo1001
i fully expect a consumer-oriented app (possibly part of iLife 06) that is centered around creating podcasts and publishing them via proper RSS feeds to iTunes, adding coverart and chapters, etc.
dillyo1001

with 1000 podcasts coming in per week, it seems like there's plenty of people that know what they're doing. But they do need a program for making enhanced podcasts. I tried using the ChapterTool, but got hung up.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by dillyo1001
I fully expect a consumer-oriented app (possibly part of iLife 06) that is centered around creating podcasts and publishing them via proper RSS feeds to iTunes, adding coverart and chapters, etc. [/B]

Same here. Definitely part of iLife 06.
post #8 of 28
not such a bad idea... why wait for microsoft to do it?

it would be interesting to see how MS would try to spin a name with "ipod" in it in a way that makes it look like they invented it though
post #9 of 28
agreed, like "Virtual Folders", "Gadgets", "Flip 3D" or how about QuickSearch,

"With the Quick Search Box, you can start typing the name or the first few letters of any displayed property, and the displayed files quickly filter down to just the matching terms." -microsoft.com

those are all such original ideas! Microsoft is brilliant aren't they?
post #10 of 28
Quote:
the RSS community chastised Apple for creating proprietary tags within the document type definition (DTD) it released to support Podcasting in iTunes 4.9. Reports suggested that move was "part of an unsupported effort to make the iTunes DTD proprietary, and a Podcast's inclusion in the iTunes catalog exclusive to Apple.

isn't Apple turning into Microsoft doing this??

queue flames galore...
post #11 of 28
The tags under discussion were placed within an extension framework designated for that very cause. Was a bit of hair splitting on the part of the RSS folks.
post #12 of 28
This ain't hard to figure out:

Apple benefits from the positive buzz swirling about the name "podcast", which was obviously coined after the iPod and evokes association, even though it is a generic word that nobody "owns".

Apple would not want somebody else creating a product called the "iPodcast" so they trademarked the name. If they didn't, anyone could conceivably start commercial use of "iPodcast" as a derivative of podcast, and dillute Apple's trademark.

Apple has no interest in claiming the podcast name, or they'd have made some effort to appropriate it in iTunes 4.9 by calling it "Apple Podcasting" or whatever, not using postcast as a common word as they have been.

Nothing to see here, AppleInsider is just trying to find something to talk about.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by danielEran
Apple would not want somebody else creating a product called the "iPodcast" so they trademarked the name. If they didn't, anyone could conceivably start commercial use of "iPodcast" as a derivative of podcast, and dillute Apple's trademark.

Exactly!

Trademark dilution could easily make "iPod" a generic term. Apple is simply trademarking iPodcast so that they can maintain their valuable iPod trademark.

As far as making them a proprietery format? How the hell did that slip into this story?

Of course the marketing department is going to trademark iPodcast. But it has absolutely nothing to do with how a couple of developers chose to architect an openly disclosed format.

Seems like somebody is sensationalizing an otherwise trivial factoid.
post #14 of 28
1. It's not necessary. Apple has been able to successfully been able to prevent others from using iPod or plays on that word. For example, there was a product called the iPed that had to be renamed simply Ped.

2. I think the term "podcast" is itself diluted. Podcasts are usually MP3 files that can be played on any MP3 player. I think a real "podcast" should be in AAC with some FairPlay DRM so that they would only play on a genuine iPod. Otherwise, those who use the MP3 format ought to use the Microsoft clunky name "blogcast."
post #15 of 28
Not neccessary? Are you familiar at all with typical measures used to maintain exclusive use of a trademark or tradedress.

This was an obviously neccessary measure to anyone with any degree of expereince with protecting trademarks.

(Granted, the effectiveness or morality of our litigious corporate culture is another discussion altogether.)
post #16 of 28
Actually it is necessary. iPed is obviouly trying to create confusion with a trademark, so it's easy to try to stop. But if Apple made no effort now to protect iPodcast, it would be a much weaker case later to stop someone from basing products upon the idea of podcasting (which Apple doesn't own) and naming a product with an "i" (which Apple doens't own either).

And "podcast" can't be diluted because it's not a trademark - there is no brand name to dilute. Apple didn't originate the idea or the name of podcasting, they are just benefitting from a development started by iPod users who coined an idea that directs attention to Apple's product.

Apple also embraced the idea in iTunes to help foster the development, which acts to sell more iPods, even though it makes Apple no money on the software side. It is also cool that Apple brought attention and access to podcasting without trying to wring money out of it directly by charging subscriptions or something - can you imagine any other company doing that?

As far a the idea of a "geniune" podcast, well... a podcast is just a text feed that references audio files. Since RSS and Atom are open standards, there is no point in trying to make a specification that only works with AAC (which is also an open standard), as opposed to MP3 or any other format.

It also has nothing to do with Apple's Fairplay, since Fairplay is just designed to link songs you buy from iTMS to you Mac(s) so they aren't copied around.

If somebody is distributing their audio files in a podcast, they are clearly not worried about them being copied around!
post #17 of 28
C'mon folks, this is dead simple.

iLife '06 is coming up this January. Apple jumped on the podcasting phenom with both feet -- the terminology is a marketing win, it fills up iPods (encouraging people to get newer ones), and helps iPods compete with mobile satellite radio players.

Thus:

iTunes - organize music
iMovie - edit home movies
iPhoto - organize + edit personal photos
Garage Band - edit + create music, recordings
iPodcast - edit and create podcasts

Whether iPodcast will be a component of GB or a separate app, I've no idea, but it's clearly coming.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by T'hain Esh Kelch
Its probably going to be used as a quality mark, ie. "This podcast works 100% with an Apple iPod!" thingy.

Unfortunately, Apple has no quality here, rejecting the standard and fucking things up with 4.9...and no torrent support?!? what is that?!?

Apperantly if anyone can afford the bandwidth to do one (because of distributed sharing), and it complies to standards it will not get apples seal...


Sounds a lot like the whole works with IE thingy....
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post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
with 1000 podcasts coming in per week, it seems like there's plenty of people that know what they're doing. But they do need a program for making enhanced podcasts. I tried using the ChapterTool, but got hung up.

But there is a need for bandwidth...I smell a ".mac for podcasters" suit at Paris Expo...no steve jobs keynote needed to unleash that.
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by macFanDave
I think a real "podcast" should be in AAC with some FairPlay DRM so that they would only play on a genuine iPod.

I enjoy podcasts, but I can't think of one I would pay for, as such, I don't see why anyone would require FairPlay. Are there dedicated music player devices that support AAC that aren't iPods? There is nothing about them that would merit the exclusion.

Quote:
Otherwise, those who use the MP3 format ought to use the Microsoft clunky name "blogcast."

Ugh, please, no. People complain that "podcast" is a clunky and horrible word, which I agree to an extent. I think 'blog' is a stupid word that sounds like a euphemism for constipation. 'blogcast' compounds it, I would much rather just call it a podcast. Also, not all podcasts are about people just talking about their personal lives, so 'blog' doesn't fit, IMO.
post #21 of 28
Talk about a misleading, sensationalistic headline! Even capitalizing Podcasting while the rest is lowercase.

When the myth snowballs that Apple tried to trademark "podcast," so they're "just as bad as Microsoft," we'll know where that misinformation was born.

"In what could be construed as its latest attempt to make Podcasting proprietary"

How? How could this POSSIBLY be construed that way? How would this trademark achieve that end?

Apple is smart to trademark things CLOSE to the trademarks they have in use. "Just in case." They do it all the time, and very often NEVER use the term in a real product. They are saving themselves a legal battle if someone ELSE starts making money off "*i*Podcasting"--and/or reserving the name in case there is some future reason to use it. Perhaps if they need to distinguish themselves from some future competitor that might become synonymous with podcasting.

They are NOT trademarking the actual term "podcast."



They will probably not use the term *i*Podcast at all... and IF they do, then WHAT they do with it can be judged. Maybe THAT will be "latest attempt to make Podcasting proprietary"... but somehow I doubt it. And it certainly hasn't happened now.

And honestly, if this is the "latest attempt to make Podcasting proprietary" then what OTHER attempts have they really made? Genuine attempts to make podcasting proprietary? None. Does anyone really think THAT was Apple's goal in regards to that minor RSS issue?

Still, it's a fun topic to stir up attention
post #22 of 28
Tabloid journalism. Apalling.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by macFanDave
...use the Microsoft clunky name "blogcast."

iBlogCast? Now that's catchy! In an influenza sort of way.
post #24 of 28
Actually, the term "podcast" is a noun, and thus can't be a trademark. Technically, trademarks are "proper" adjectives, and describe the source of the item (good, service) modified by the trademark. For example, Powermac desktop computer (computer from Apple Computer, Inc.) or Coca-cola soft drink (drink manufactured by the Coca-Cola Company).

In fact, Apple itself is using the term "podcast" as a noun - take a look at the podcast secction of the iTunes music store. There are links like "Publish a Podcast" "Today's Top Podcasts" "Search All Podcasts". Also, look at Apple's iPod page, it's used consistently as a noun there.

Conclusion: Apple has conceded, at least by implication, that the term "podcast" is not owned by them.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes
C'mon folks, this is dead simple.

iLife '06 is coming up this January. Apple jumped on the podcasting phenom with both feet -- the terminology is a marketing win, it fills up iPods (encouraging people to get newer ones), and helps iPods compete with mobile satellite radio players.

Thus:

iTunes - organize music
iMovie - edit home movies
iPhoto - organize + edit personal photos
Garage Band - edit + create music, recordings
iPodcast - edit and create podcasts

Whether iPodcast will be a component of GB or a separate app, I've no idea, but it's clearly coming.


....to me this is the most sensible line of thought that people have proposed.

apple will need to drive revenue (software upgrades and/or new macs) for the jan-march quarter, and iLife'06 would probably be part of that.

...the "OMFG apple is going to lockdown podcasts and itunes and stuff" camp can go stuff this in their "OMFG apple TPM means the end of teh world!!!" folder
post #26 of 28
The jury's still out on whether or not Apple is trying to pull a Microsoft with podcasting. For a look at Apple's sloppy use of XML, read this well informed analysis.
It is titled "First look..." so maybe there is a more detailed follow up.
post #27 of 28
That's the type of article that would have been nice to see here. It has clear reasoning and it's criticisms are specific rather than just mud flinging.

On the other hand, AI bundled everything into a sensationalized piece about evil "proprietery" practices.
post #28 of 28
How anyone can construe this as some sort of Apple power play is beyond me. This is nothing more than Apple trademarking their own catchy name for a technology they are adopting. Like "AirPort," or "Bonjour," or "FireWire."

It must be a slow news day in Apple-land.
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