Let them have it, I say!

by Oliver Breidenbach

Apple claims the right to the word "Podcast". Very funny. (Not!)

Now, some people propose to change the name. It might be silly but is a peaceful alternative to dropping millions on the lawyers to fight over "podcast".

The thing that interests me most about this is: Could the net community pull it off? Could they make a trademark obsolete by switching to a new term?


2006-10-02 04:57:14
Hi, I think perhaps there's a common mistake made by people here, I don't think Apple is trying to claim the right to "podcast". The cease and desist letter to Podcast Ready was due to the fact that Podcast Ready were trying to trademark the term 'Podcast ready' themselves. I read the following on DaringFireball.com (http://daringfireball.net/linked/2006/september#thu-28-mdj_pod):

MDJ on Apple's 'Cease and Desist' Request to Podcast Ready ★
Matt Deatherage figured out what's going on after reading the full text of Apple's cease-and-desist letter -- it's not because Podcast Ready was simply using the word "podcast", it's because Podcast Ready was attempting to file for their own trademarks on "podcast ready" and "myPod":

Apple hasn't said word one about tens of thousands of people using the term "podcast," despite Apple's "iPod" trademark and its claim on "Pod" as a portable audio player trademark as well. Apple took action against Podcast Ready because the firm, formerly known as Infostructure Solutions, was attempting to trademark the terms "Podcast Ready" and "MyPodder." That would mean that other companies who wanted to use the term "podcast ready" would have to license it from Infostructure Solutions, even though the term is obviously and admittedly based on Apple's "iPod" trademark. Apple cannot allow companies to register a variant on "myPod" as a trademark if it's defending its own "iPod" trademark.

2006-10-02 05:02:19
Only this is exactly what Apple isn't claiming.

As the commentary on the linked article reveals.

Classic blogosphere : "a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing." (with apologies to W. Shakespeare)

2006-10-02 07:59:00
I don't understand how they can trademark a name that someone else invented.

What happened to justice?

Andy Lee
2006-10-02 09:01:16
I just saw a commercial for the Woolite "Pod," a handheld carpet cleaning product. "Just squeeze, rub, groom, and done!" I wonder when Apple will go after them.
Peter of the Norse
2006-10-02 09:29:31
I was going to post this on the TWiT page you link to, but it's already been overrun with spam comments. It's hard to take someone seriously when they think the neologism "netcast" has never been used before. There are those of us who have been using it to mean any kind of audio or video streaming since the days of Real Audio 2.0.

As for renaming "podcast", when Microsoft starts using a competitor's name in their products, it's too late.

2006-10-02 10:47:14
All trademark case law hinges on the concept of does the trademark "cause confusion in the marketplace". If it doesn't, the chances of a successful lawsuit are slim. The Woolite case is clearly not even remotely related to audio, computers, or anything else related to iPod. So Apple in that instance probably doesn't have a case. As for 'podcast'? Who knows? It's clearly related to iPod and computers so anything might happen.
2006-10-02 19:24:01
PUHLEEZE! Not yet another copy-paste columnist parrotting this completely false information!

To get some enlightenment just take a listen at what Adam Curry has to say after actually friggin READING the NOT "cease and desist" letter (neither the word "cease" nor the word "desist" are in the letter and it is actually written in a quite friendly tone).

Not an Apple fan
2006-10-02 20:57:16
I'm no big Apple fan but it seems that what you're claiming Oliver isn't true. Do some research before posting, please.
Andy Lee
2006-10-03 00:33:39
The Woolite case is clearly not even remotely related to audio, computers, or anything else related to iPod. So Apple in that instance probably doesn't have a case.

I was kidding, by the way. :)

Oliver Breidenbach
2006-10-03 01:36:23
Do some research before posting, please.

No need. I am a blogger, remember? Besides, I don't care wether it is true.

If you read my post carefully, you might figure out what my point is. (Hint: It is in the last sentence.)

2006-10-03 11:14:38
Oliver, as you say, "let them have it". :-)