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Apple Loses Aussie Trademark Complaint Over "i" Name

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-maybe-only-at-the-end dept.

The Courts 177

CuteSteveJobs writes "Apple has been dealt a severe blow having been told that it no longer has a monopoly on the letter 'i' for product naming. IP Australia, the government body that oversees trademark applications, rejected Apple's complaint against a company selling 'DOPi' laptop bags. Last year Australian computer company Macpro Computers claimed that after 26 years of flying its own Macpro brand that Apple was 'trying to burn us out' with legal fees. This was after Apple released its own Macpro line 3½ years ago. Apple lost that complaint, but is appealing. Last year Apple went after supermarket Woolworths complaining their new logo which featured a 'W' fashioned into the shape of an apple. (Woolworths sells real apples.)"

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iFirst (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31461882)

This post has been taken to court by Apple due to violations regarding the iFirst.

Re:iFirst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31461964)

If you really want to get sued over an Apple trademark, drop the R.

Re:iFirst (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31461966)

It's weird Apple even cries over such, especially when other companies have been using similar names for years. Adding an i before a word in name, what an invention. iPad [wikipedia.org] has the same story too, and then Apple just came along and took it. There's even a hand-held device Fujitsu iPAD [wikipedia.org] from 2002.

Apple doesn't care about other peoples names but then cries over some company that has been using Macpro name for over 25 years before Apple. Just like they didn't care about Nokia's patents but instantly cries when someone even considers anything close to Apple's patents. If Apple were a person he would be a total douche, but of course we again see some Apple fanboys coming to defend this douchebag.

Re:iFirst (4, Insightful)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462074)

If Apple were a person he would be a total douche, but of course we again see some Apple fanboys coming to defend this douchebag.

What I didn't know and was surprised to learn was the following:

Apple [has a] market capitalisation of close to $US200 billion, making it the fourth largest publicly traded American company

If Apple's a douchebag, then it's a Really Big Douchebag. On the other hand, with only a handful of consumer products from which they seem to make most of their money, it shouldn't be surprising to anyone that they'd be so aggressive at protecting their names and associations in the mind of consumers. Or from a pure business sense, faulted for doing so.

Good business sense or not, I'd agree they qualify as a douchebag. But then, so do the Beatles (for some, purveyors of simililary overrated products) for suing Apple way back when.

Re:iFirst (5, Informative)

daath93 (1356187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462462)

In what universe is apple the fourth largest publicly traded American company? The Forbes Global 2000 [forbes.com] has them ranked at 113 (behind many many American companies) with about 4.86 billion in profits and a total market value of 79.54 billion. Even Microsoft is only ranked 49th with 3 times the profits and market value.

Re:iFirst (3, Informative)

evanspw (872471) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463074)

Market capitaization. ie, it's stock price multiplied by the number of share on issue.

There's no "one" way to measure a company's size. The Forbes article is horrendously out of date on market cap. Apple is the clear #2 tech stock now behind microsoft. I think at the moment, the order goes Exxon, Microsoft, PetroChina, then Apple.

It's really big, and the fact that its price to earnings ratio is much higher than any other really huge company means the market thinks its profits are fairly safe, with more upside.

Re:iFirst (5, Informative)

hanabal (717731) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462560)

the beatles saga was another case of Apples douchiness actually. The Beatles record label was called apple records a subsidiary or Apple Corps, they had a trademark and everything. Along comes apple computers and they struck a deal, signed and everything, as long as apple computers stays out of the music game its all good. This is pretty much standard for trademarks, the idea is that if anyone hears the name apple associated with music they will think of The Beatles. for pretty much any trademark the rules are stay out of the same market and you can use the same name. All good so far. Then apple computers starts selling ipods and itunes, hey wait a sec they said they weren't going to do that. This is why the beatles sued, and rightfully so.

Re:iFirst (1)

kubrick (27291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462900)

Sosumi [wikipedia.org] .

Re:iFirst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31463130)

wasn't the first recorded sample music on a apple computer named sosueme.avi?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sosumi
Sosumi
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Sosumi is one of the system sounds introduced in Apple Inc.'s Macintosh System 7 operating system in 1991, an extremely short sample of a xylophone, which gained notoriety in computer folklore as a cheeky response to a long-running Apple Corps v. Apple Computer trademark conflict. The sound has been included in all subsequent versions of Mac OS, including Mac OS X.

During the development of System 7, the two Apples concluded a settlement agreement from an earlier dispute when Apple added a sound synthesis chip to the IIgs. As a result, Apple Computer was prohibited from using their trademark on "creative works whose principal content is music".

When new sounds for System 7 were created, the sounds were reviewed through Apple's legal department and they objected that the new system sound alert "chime" had a name that was "too musical", under the recent settlement. The creator of the new sound alerts for System 7 and the Macintosh Startup Sound, Jim Reekes, had grown frustrated with the legal scrutiny and first quipped it should be named "Let It Beep", a pun on The Beatles' "Let It Be". When someone remarked that that wouldn't pass legal's approval, he remarked "so sue me." After a brief reflection, he resubmitted the sound's name as sosumi (a homophone of "so sue me"), telling the legal department that the name was Japanese and had nothing to do with music.[1]

Sosumi exists as an inside joke on Apple Inc.'s website as the name of a CSS typographical style used for legal notices such as the copyright notice.

Sosumi is also the name of a Japanese car in A Frolic of His Own, William Gaddis's satirical novel about American litigious culture.

Re:iFirst (2, Informative)

hakey (1227664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462658)

I was also surprised by that, so I looked it up. As of the end of Friday trading, they just edged out Wal-Mart for number 3.

US companies by Market Cap:
Exxon Mobil 315.38B
Microsoft 256.45B
Apple 205.57B
Wal-Mart 205.37B
Berkshire Hathaway 203.20B
Google 184.28B
Procter & Gamble 183.92B
General Electric 181.81B
Johnson & Johnson 176.62B

Re:iFirst (5, Funny)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462144)

If Apple were a person he would be a total douche

He'd also be wearing a turtleneck, have a starbucks double half-calf-frappa-moccha-chino, goatee, and thick black-rimmed glasses.

Oh yeah, and a liberal arts degree.

Re:iFirst (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462194)

He'd also be wearing a turtleneck, have a starbucks double half-calf-frappa-moccha-chino, goatee, and thick black-rimmed glasses.

Oh yeah, and a liberal arts degree.

I imagine this particular brand of trademark iDouchebaggery comes from the business school graduates hired by Apple's king-of-mock-turtlenecks.

Re:iFirst (2, Informative)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462500)

Well, of course. We already said he'd be a total douche.

Re:iFirst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31463118)

If Apple were a person he would be a total douche

He'd also be wearing a turtleneck, have a starbucks double half-calf-frappa-moccha-chino, goatee, and thick black-rimmed glasses.

Oh yeah, and a liberal arts degree.

Hey That's hurtful :P

Re:iFirst (1)

orangeplanet64 (1381421) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463136)

Oh yeah, and a liberal arts degree.

Oh snap..

Half CALF??? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463138)

If Apple were a person he would be a total douche

He'd also be wearing a turtleneck, have a starbucks double half-calf-frappa-moccha-chino, goatee, and thick black-rimmed glasses.

Oh yeah, and a liberal arts degree.

I hope you mean half CAF or CAFE. Whether he's a douche maybe up for debate but whether he takes half a cow (even a small one) in his coffee isn't!

Re:iFirst (0, Offtopic)

evanism (600676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462160)

at no point have they ever said "Don't be Evil". Heck, they came out of the same mould as M$, so one must argue they are evil by induction.

Re:iFirst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31462418)

Heck, they came out of the same mould as M$

WTF does that mean? They both came from the west coast of the United States on planet earth, if that's what you mean. Other than that, saying that "thay came out of the same mo(u)ld" is just making shit up.

Re:iFirst (1, Offtopic)

evanism (600676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462522)

If you are a complete n00b and know nothing of the history of modern computing, then nothing. If you can remember back to 1990, like I can and lived through and was intimately involved in MS at the OS level, then you'd understand. Mold, granted as a disambiguation, but my original meaning stands. Be friendly.

Re:iFirst (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462206)

Apple doesn't care about other peoples names but then cries over some company that has been using Macpro name for over 25 years before Apple.

It's trademark law, they're supposed to. You're trying to attribute hypocrisy to a situation that's actually created by the system.

Re:iFirst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31462326)

Check out the 2003 Canadian film, "The Corporation." Does a nice job detailing the history of business corporations and the mind-boggling power they now have in our society. A really interesting aspect that is brought up is how corporate ideology is so similar to psychopathic people -- both have dangerous pathological mindsets. They're both negatives to society, more destructive than constructive.

Re:iFirst (1)

symes (835608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462370)

When I first came across the Apple Mac I remember thinking how strange it was to name something after a coat [wikipedia.org]

Re:iFirst (2, Funny)

gafisher (865473) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463002)

That's because of the long boot times; it's sort of an umbrella concept.

Re:iFirst (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462548)

Apple doesn't care about other peoples names but then cries over some company

I don't think Apple is crying, it's cold, hard business action. They know the rules of the game, and they are willing to stretch them to the limits of what they can. Sometimes they lose, and that's ok, it's part of the game. But there's no crying.

Re:iFirst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31462896)

He wouldn't be a simple douche. He would be an iDouche.

Re:iFirst (1)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462910)

>Apple doesn't care about other peoples names but then cries over some company that has been using Macpro name for over 25 years before Apple.

Where is the surprise here? They want what's best for them whichever side of the argument they're on. People are generally like this, and corporations are known to be even less even-handed than people.

Re:iFirst (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462934)

If Apple were a person he would be a total douche, but of course we again see some Apple fanboys coming to defend this douchebag.

Apple is a person, according to the Supreme Court. And not just a person, but an aristocrat with rights and no responsibilites. And, just like every other company, Apple is a complete sociopath.

Re:iFirst (1)

John Saffran (1763678) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462944)

If Apple were a person he would be a total douche

If Apple released an iDouche bag, I wonder how many fanboys would buy one ..

It's always been Apple's motto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31461884)

So sue me!

Re:It's always been Apple's motto (1)

korean.ian (1264578) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462568)

You mean sosumi...

Great news... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31461930)

How much apple fanbois want to believe in their beloved company and their jesus CEO, Apple is actually worse than even SCO.

I wish they lose all the legal battles everywhere against all.

iFuckApple

Re:Great news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31461948)

That must hurt...

Re:Great news... (1)

evanism (600676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462166)

uHurt :) iBad

Re:Great news... (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462446)

Last year Apple went after supermarket Woolworths complaining their new logo which featured a 'W' fashioned into the shape of an apple. (Woolworths sells real apples.)"

Makes me wonder if Apple will next go after Apple Records.
The Beatles used them near the end as their label
The label has an Apple on it
Things that make you go Hmmm

Say what you want about Microsoft... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31461950)

...but if Apple was as big as Microsoft is now and had the same legal attitude, the legal climate in computing would look even far worse than it does now.

Re:Say what you want about Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31462086)

Apple is as big as Microsoft.

Re:Say what you want about Microsoft... (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462372)

no they aren't. AAPL market cap = 205B, MSFT = 256b. total cash on hand for AAPL is 24B vs MSFT 33B.

not to mention in terms of market share MS completely dominates with greater then 90%.

on what fucking way is apple bigger then MS???

Re:Say what you want about Microsoft... (5, Insightful)

PietjeJantje (917584) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463092)

The problem with AAPL is, if Steve Jobs drops dead tomorrow, it will implode in catastrophic ways. But if a piano falls out of the sky and takes out Balmer, MSFT will go up.

Re:Say what you want about Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31463106)

Well, my boy, you need a good grammar lesson on the subjunctive mood. The parent said "if apple was" not that it it "is" actually bigger than Microsoft.

Re:Say what you want about Microsoft... (0, Troll)

You'reJustSlashFlock (1708024) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462126)

Apple was not founded by the Borg King, thus it cannot be Evil. And by no measure is Apple as large as Microsoft (including the size of the founders' charity foundation).

Re:Say what you want about Microsoft... (1)

orangeplanet64 (1381421) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463150)

but if Apple was as big as Microsoft...

Starbucks will be overloaded

You mean Apple doesn't sell real apples... (3, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31461954)

The local grocery store in Silicon Valley has four organic apples in a hermetically sealed plastic box with a sticker on top to win a real skateboard [wikipedia.org] for $3 USD. This is something that Steve Jobs would've come up with, although the skateboard would've been Steve Wozniak's idea.

Re:You mean Apple doesn't sell real apples... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31461994)

Wow, you linked to a wikipedia article about skateboard. I hope we aren't that nerdy here on /. Some of you must have played Tony Hawk games, right?

Re:You mean Apple doesn't sell real apples... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462234)

Well, some of us did get a little confused when they talked about Woolworth's [wikipedia.org] selling apples, so I could easily see people thinking "get off my lawn" about the skateboard thing, too.

Re:You mean Apple doesn't sell real apples... (2, Informative)

makomk (752139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463028)

Well, they would do, since outside of New Zealand and Australia Woolworths refers to an entirely unrelated chain of stores that sells totally different things...

I think they lost it at the point where (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31461958)

They told the Australian court that the country would have to change its name to Australya.

Re:I think they lost it at the point where (2, Informative)

Tim99 (984437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462120)

They told the Australian court that the country would have to change its name to Australya.

Not needed -Us locals already call our country 'Stralya.

Re:I think they lost it at the point where (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31463014)

Not needed -Us locals already call our country 'Stralya.

FAIL.

The country is 'Oz', its inhabitants are 'Ozzies' and the language is 'Strine'.

Bad summary (3, Insightful)

curmi (205804) | more than 4 years ago | (#31461968)

It seems clear, avoiding the anti-Apple stance of the article and the summary, that Apple went after someone for infringing on "iPod", which is "DOPi" backwards. They didn't go after them for using iSomething. This looked like an infringement of their existing trademark, but they didn't win.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Re:Bad summary (2, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462098)

Yes, I'm sure consumers were fooled into thinking that a DOPi was really an iPod because of the similar size and shape and the fact that they both start out empty.

Re:Bad summary (3, Funny)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462130)

Still, buying a product pronounced "dopey" sums up Apple's customers aptly! :)

Re:Bad summary (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31462112)

I don't know about you, but if I saw a product which was the palindrome of a completely different sort of product, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the real one and the other. Obviously this "DOPi" product exists only to fool the honest consumer merely looking to save a few bucks on a Genuine Apple® iPod(tm). Imagine the poor saps' surprise when their newly purchased laptop bag refuses to play music!

In other news, Wal*Mart are suing Pixar for blatantly ripping their name off with the title of the film Wall-E; and they have scores of confused cinema-goers willing to testify in their favour. In partnership with the City of Berlin, Pink Floyd have indicated that they will launch a similar lawsuit, seeking damages for The Berlin Wall and the two-part song "Another Brick In The Wall", respectively. No response yet from Humpty Dumpty's legal team.

Re:Bad summary (1)

t0p (1154575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462916)

So Apple argued: "Our customers will see the DOPi bag and think 'Hey that's iPod backwards! I'd better buy an official iPod-backwards bag to put my laptop in. Even though my laptop isn't called "iPod"'..." Of course, Apple's attack-lawyers would have worded it better.

Assholes (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31461972)

Any chance these fuckers can be declared vexatious litigants?

Most of these are ridiculous and meritless, and Apple is only hoping to crush their opponents under a torrent of legal fees.

The first sign of trouble was... (4, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31461974)

when the ruling was headlined iDon'tThinkSo.

Former Apple Trademark lawyer gets interviewed (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31461980)

and said "iTold you so".

Ugh, I just died a little inside (Pun Allergy).

Proof the Australian legal system is broken (4, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31461988)

First AFACT (Australia's RIAA) lose and courts clearly state that ISP's are not responsible for policing their users now they have the audacity to claim Apple has no right to destroy other companies over vague allusions to product names or names they have been using for 20 years.

Preposterous I say, this simply cannot stand, as an Australian I demand that our legal system be fixed so that innocent mega-corporations can no longer be inconvenienced by our clearly erroneous laws.

Re:Proof the Australian legal system is broken (2, Informative)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462396)

not only that but the government is looking at opening an enquiry into scientology's tax free status.

combine that with peter garrett getting sacked from the environmental portfolio for his pink batts failure, and if we can get Rudd to reign in his spending, we might have a 1/2 sane government and legal system in the works.

Re:Proof the Australian legal system is broken (1)

Matt_R (23461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462570)

the half of the government that's insane still wants the internet filter :(

Re:Proof the Australian legal system is broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31462914)

Don't forget the brilliance of the internet filter that the government is ramming through at all costs. This government can do no wrong!

Re:Proof the Australian legal system is broken (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462928)

Way to stick it to the man! (5, Informative)

hellop2 (1271166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31461998)

Apple didn't invent the 'i' concept anyways. The 'i' comes from "Internet" because we called it the "iNet" back in the BBS days.

Re:Way to stick it to the man! (1)

aldld (1663705) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462044)

You mean the way 'i' was used by Apple? If so, I guess I just learned something today.

Re:Way to stick it to the man! (3, Interesting)

hellop2 (1271166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462060)

Or "inet" or even more common, "Inet" which some BBSers insisted upon, because the word "Internet" was considered a proper noun.

Here is an article from 1995 from the ACM: http://www.acm.org/crossroads/xrds2-1/inet-history.html. [acm.org]

It's an article on Internet History. Notice the filename contains the word "inet" meaning "Internet".

Was Apple's first use of the "i" trademark before 1995?

Re:Way to stick it to the man! (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462250)

The prevalence of "inet" is, I guess, related to the extensive use of symbols that contain "inet" in the standard C libraries, which could probably be traced back to the very early days of the Internet. Disclaimer: IANAComputer History Scientist.

Re:Way to stick it to the man! (1)

t0p (1154575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462938)

And I remember when Ford made the Escort XR3i. That was in the 1980s, I believe, which clearly precedes Apple's use of the letter "i".

Anyway, what makes Apple think they own the right to use a letter of the alphabet? They gonna go after the Eskimos for branding their ice-houses as iGloos?

Re:Way to stick it to the man! (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463016)

And I remember when Ford made the Escort XR3i. That was in the 1980s, I believe, which clearly precedes Apple's use of the letter "i".

The most obvious automotive example would be BMW, you has appended an "i" for "injected" after (almost) all of their models for a very long time. The first BMW to use a 3digit + i name was the 520i in 1972.

Re:Way to stick it to the man! (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463024)

should be which has appended

Trying to win trademark fights? (5, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462008)

There's an app for that.

Re:Trying to win trademark fights? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31462322)

There's a nigger for that too.

Re:Trying to win trademark fights? (1)

jeti (105266) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462904)

That's been removed from the AppStore.

Re:Trying to win trademark fights? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463142)

There's an app for that.

iAsshole?

Can we do some research please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31462020)

Research is fun!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark#Maintaining_rights

Yet another trademark case. Are we sure this is just not a case of a big corporation suing just to cover it's ass because it can? If I had an international trademark and $35 billion in cash and short term investments, I would sue people even if I knew I would lose. With that sort of money, better safe than sorry.

Let's bash companies for factually correct reasons.

Re:Can we do some research please? (2, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462066)

If I had an international trademark and $35 billion in cash and short term investments, I would sue people even if I knew I would lose.

And I would call you an asshole who's abusing the system, and costing other people the money that they take home to feed their families and pay rent.

Re:Can we do some research please? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462406)

and you'd have some judges throwing the book at you for wasting their time.

i hope your not a CEO of any company...

Re:Can we do some research please? (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462420)

On that I have to disagree. The approach is short-sighted as there is at least one other cost you are not considering -- "good will." Apple is burning its public image with these sorts of abusive legal actions.

Re:Can we do some research please? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462630)

The approach is short-sighted as there is at least one other cost you are not considering -- "good will." Apple is burning its public image with these sorts of abusive legal actions.

I guess they learned that good will doesn't matter all that much when it comes to the bottom line. Microsoft has for years burned good will, buried it, danced on it's grave and then salted the earth where it used to grow and they are still the biggest software company around.

A lesson for all .... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31462036)

There's no 'i' in dickheads ............ oh wait

Now we're down to 25 alphabets? (1)

aneroid (856995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462078)

Really? A trademark on a small caps letter? like iSmall and SMALLi? then Google goes after gNames, MS goes after mORENames, etc.

[sarcasm]Luckily, IBM is IBM and not iBM[/sarcasm], and it was around first, etc. And ATI == ATi ? This article reminds me of madtv's iRack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw2nkoGLhrE [youtube.com]

I wonder if, in the future, the Apple wikipedia page will get swapped out for the company's - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple [wikipedia.org] and then it copyrights good health.

Re:Now we're down to 25 alphabets? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31462172)

iBM?

Sounds like what I did when I went to the bathroom earlier.

The world. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31462136)

Powered by 26 letters, and therefore a maximum of 26 companies.

Re:The world. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462216)

The Chinese or Japanese may take over then...

Re:The world. (2, Funny)

gooman (709147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462738)

Bummer to be the company that gets stuck with "R"
They'll go broke suing all the pirates.

Sci Fi to the Rescue...Again (4, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462282)

Frank Herbert, the author of "Dune" wrote a couple of novels set in a universe where lawyers who chose to fight a case literally had to fight it...and die if they lost. "Whipping Star" was one of them.

I think he was onto something. I, for one, would pay big money to see lawyers die.

Re:Sci Fi to the Rescue...Again (3, Funny)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462502)

gates vs jobs. gates would surely win by strangling jobs with his stupid turtle neck.

Re:Sci Fi to the Rescue...Again (1)

flonker (526111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462820)

The problem being, of course, some people wouldn't get representation and would end up being steamrolled. A more fair approach would be that only the lawyer bringing the case would need to win it or die trying.

Re:Sci Fi to the Rescue...Again (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462822)

Well that would certainly get rid of lawyers; then who would defence the innocent?

Re:Sci Fi to the Rescue...Again (1)

t0p (1154575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462960)

The same people who currently defend the innocent. Spider-Man. Or the Batman, depending on your religion.

It's a kwaZulu prefix, get over it (2, Insightful)

tgv (254536) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462294)

IF anyone has a right to complain, it's the Zulus. In kwaZulu (their language), an i- is prefixed to any loan word, and the following word is then capitalized. So radio in kwaZulu would be: iRadio. Looks familiar?

Re:It's a kwaZulu prefix, get over it (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31462794)

IF anyone has a right to complain, it's the Zulus. In kwaZulu (their language), an i- is prefixed to any loan word, and the following word is then capitalized. So radio in kwaZulu would be: iRadio. Looks familiar?

Actually it's isiZulu. kwaZulu is a province of South Africa. Also, the prefix is e, not i. The more you know...

Erm... no? (1)

algormortis (1422619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462310)

Quote from the above summary:

(Woolworths sells real apples.)

Quote from the article:

Woolworths' application includes a wide class for electrical goods and technology, putting it in direct competition with Apple should the retailer choose to brand computers, music players or other devices.

I guess the following bit from the article was just taken out of context:

''Based on this logic, they would have to take action against every fruit-seller.''

Re:Erm... no? (2, Informative)

Alicat1194 (970019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462836)

Woolworths is primarily a supermarket business, though they do have controlling interests in several electrical goods and technology stores (as well as liquor, hotels and hardware).

The 'W' logo mentioned in the summary is used primarily for the supermarkets - the electrical / tech stores are branded differently eg: 'Dick Smiths' and 'Tandy', not 'Dick Smiths a subsidiary of Woolworths'.

Mother Nature looses her appeal (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31462340)

In a severe blow to food naming conventions Mother Nature has lost her bid to retain the name "Apple" for the fruit of the same name. In a compromise Apple is allowing Mother Nature to have their unused trademark iSlate for all apple type fruits. This is seen as a victory for the US and Mom's iSlate pie!

Defend it or loose it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31462528)

Companies (not just Apple) are somewhat obliged to defend their trademarks. To keep this IP companies must demonstrate that they are uniquely recognizable and associated with their products.

Aggressively going after anything that is close helps prevent dilution, and demonstrates that they are actively defending and using these trademarks.

Obviously Apple are wary of loosing it's brand image, so will contest anything remotely. If a precedent can be found where Apple have not defended their trade mark it provides other companies some leverage. Therefore this sends out a strong message to other companies and the legal system.

Copywriting an 'i' is going a bit far, especially as others have used it before.

Oh the irony (4, Interesting)

plusser (685253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462740)

When talking of trademarks, the Australian Woothworths company actually had absolutely nothing to do with the FW Woolworth company and its famous US and UK stores (and apparently stores in other countries that are still trading under the Woolworths brand). One of the founders of the Australian company, Ernest Robert Williams, called the company Woolworths as part of a dare, only to find that FW Woolworth had not trademarked the name in Australia, therefore the trademark was deemed valid.

This highlight the issue of trademarks. Even in a globalised society, a company cannot expect by implication that its trademark will automatically be protected across the world, without registering the trademark correctly. If it were, could Volkswagen sue Apple for the use of the "i" letter since the company first used the designation on the Golf GTi in 1975?

Perhaps somebody could trademark the word iDIOT, to prevent situations like this from occurring.

I seem to recall... (1)

idji (984038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462746)

That there is a hamburger chain somewhere called Mac........ I wonder if they are next in the firing line.

Apple (2, Funny)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31462986)

iLitigiousBastards

Re:Apple (2, Funny)

zuki (845560) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463060)

In the spirit of trying to find a song for everything,
all I can think of when reading this is : "iMe A River"....

How... (4, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463108)

... iLaughed.

Apple Trademarks iAustralia (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#31463112)

In other news, Apple successfully trademarked iAustralia, and is headed off to world court to demand that the country of Australia change its name because it infringes. Australian representatives cried fowl over Apple providing fully loaded iPods to judges and iPads for use during trial.

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