Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Apple owns the word "pod", OK? And just so we're clear, it's called in its favourite people: the lawyers.

Apple wants to stop a start-up firm, Podcast Ready, offering podcasts direct to digital players. Apple claims to own the term pod on mobile devices and software, and has demanded that a start-up stop using the word in marketing its application for updating podcasts on digital media players.

Apple is, in its own way, being funny about it saying that it doesn't object per se to the term Podcast Ready... just to its use in connection to mobile devices.

Apple probably has a point. It did, as far as MP3 players are concerned, coin the whole pod thing. Although its argument that people use the word "pod" as an abbreviation of their iPod is total crap. Why would you? That's nonsense. I mean who does that?

Russell Holliman, chief executive and founder of Podcast Ready, said: "I had to read the letter three times, because I couldn't believe I was reading it properly. I never in my life ever met anyone who calls it (the iPod) a Pod."

The lawsuit could ruin Podcast Ready's chances of raising further capital and hit it hard as it gears up for trade show product launches, but that's lawyers for you. They are the only people this can be good news for, being the only winners in all of this, as usual. They get so much practise working for Apple.

Only last month, Apple settled with Singapore-based technology firm Creative about a copyright infringement relating to the iPod, which saw it pay out £53m.

Earlier in the year it beat The Beatles, who claimed Apple was moving into music with iTunes, which is contra to their earlier agreement with the Fab Four’s Apple Corp.

There is, of course, an old joke about this. One of the sounds that you get on the Mac is the xylophone-type sound dubbed Sosumi. Apple claim it is a Japanese word rather than two fingers to Paul McCartney and did no in fact translate as "so sue me".

The Apple boys have a long history of such wordplay gags.

In 1994, Apple code-named the Power Macintosh 7100 "Carl Sagan" after the astronomer, TV presenter and sci-fi writer of such books as 'Contact'.

It was meant probably as a homage internally, but then Apple had models codenamed "Cold Fusion” (pie in the sky science) and "Piltdown Man” (fake anthropology), which got Mr Sagan thinking that really Apple were taking the piss. He sued and lost and Apple changed the name to "BHA."

This seemed fine, except BHA was a TLA for "Butt-Head Astronomer", which is not so nice. Cue second suit, which he lost again, prompting Apple geeks to come up with a new TLA, this time "LAW" or "Lawyers Are Wimps". Of course, I could think of a better variation on that, but this is a family blog so really I shouldn't.

Read more about Apple's legal wrangles on Wikipedia

Still no word yet on whether Apple will sue Douglas Coupland for his novel, 'jPod', the follow-up to 'Microserfs'.

I mean he has taken the name. Surely the lawyers should be on this?


At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Gordie for PM!!! said...

Classic blogging Gordon 'man of the people' Republic.

I hear there's going to be a vacant seat at the head of the Labour table soon, (sshhhh, don't tell anyone)maybe you should go for it.

This country has waited along time for an uber-blogger with the touch, and sometimes spellnig (see what i've done there), of the common man.

How about it gordie? I think you'd be a cracking PM


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