Apple Trying to Own Word "POD". Facebook wants to own word "BOOK".

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Gerry

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This is an incredibly worthy-to-note case over TM's as it could have major impact on many, many domains and name usage in general.

Apple, Startup Go to Trial Over ‘Pod’ Trademark

There are two points that really caught my attention.

First, the people Apple is involved in a lawsuit with have been working on products since 2000 with the name "pod" contained in the product name. Apple essentially is telling the company that they, Sector Labs, must now change their product name.

Secondly, read on:

Ana Christian, Kokin’s lawyer, says the fight is about more than allowing small businesses to use “Pod” in their product names. She noted a trend in the tech industry, in which large corporations have been attempting to assume ownership of ordinary words. For example, Facebook recently filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Teachbook over usage of the word “book.” Other companies have also aggressively defended trademarks on common words, such as Microsoft with the word “windows.”

I do like the point this attorney is making - large corporations attempting to assume ownership of ordinary words - aka, generics.

I was thinking to myself - if someone posts a picture or story about a pod of whales, does that writer or photography then have to pay usage fees?

Does the artist, writer, photographer have to get permission in writing for the word pod usage?

Or do they (us, we, I) now have to post a disclaimer on a site, photo, or article that this story (or image) is;

The use of the word "pod" in describing a group of whales is not to be confused with the popular electronics product "iPod" which is a Trademarked and Copyrighted consumer product made by Apple Corporation. The word "Apple" in the corporate name is not to be confused as the edible fruit "Apple" even though Apple does use an image of an apple as appears in its, Apple Corporation, logo.
 

Brett Lewis

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It's not that they can own the word outright, but they are trying to own them in their space. Rightly or wrongly (and I think wrongly), FaceBook is trying to own the word "book" for social media sites. They often use their superior muscle to force smaller companies out of the market. Even though the law is not on their side, they can effectively drive out junior users with the threat of costly litigation. For another example, look at what Marvel COmics does with anyone who files a trademark application that includes the word SUPERHERO. They get approved by the PTO and Marvel opposes them. Every one has abandoned their mark rather than spend tens of thousands of dollars fighting Marvel, even if they'd win in the end.

Brett E. Lewis, Esq.
https://www.trademarkattorneys.com
 
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Gerry

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It's not that they can own the word outright, but they are trying to own them in their space. Rightly or wrongly (and I think wrongly), FaceBook is trying to own the word "book" for social media sites. They often use their superior muscle to force smaller companies out of the market. Even though the law is not on their side, they can effectively drive out junior users with the threat of costly litigation. For another example, look at what Marvel COmics does with anyone who files a trademark application that includes the word SUPERHERO. They get approved by the PTO and Marvel opposes them. Every one has abandoned their mark rather than spend tens of thousands of dollars fighting Marvel, even if they'd win in the end.

Brett E. Lewis, Esq.
www.lewishand.com
www.trademarkattorneys.com
Wow, you have been away for awhile.

I understand the "their space" thing but this seems quite extreme on the apple side of this thing.
 

draggar

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They often use their superior muscle to force smaller companies out of the market. Even though the law is not on their side, they can effectively drive out junior users with the threat of costly litigation

Like that's never happened before?
 

chipmeade

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The trend is very widespread. eBay claims "bay" for it's own usage only, eNom Claims "nom" and Monster Cable is notorious for it's reach with the term "Monster"
 

dn-101

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Well,
I'd like to reserve rights for the letters DN
 

Gerry

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The trend is very widespread. eBay claims "bay" for it's own usage only, eNom Claims "nom" and Monster Cable is notorious for it's reach with the term "Monster"
eBay attempted to strong arm me into releasing MaineBays.com a few years ago. I received a letter from their legal department threatening legal action.

It was a planned photo/journal site for kayaking along the coast of Maine.

eBay's entire point of contention and validation for a cease and desist was the regging of a domain that contained their TM name - MaineBays.com

After a very carefully worded, long letter outlining my plans and how eBay was in violation of my and other's rights, they backed off.
 

Dave Zan

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FaceBook is trying to own the word "book" for social media sites.

https://techcrunch.com/2010/08/26/facebook-placebook-teachbook/

Thanks for the discussion here. The problem is not merely that they use the word “book.” You’ll notice that we have no complaint against Kelly Blue Book or Green Apple Books or others. However, there is already a well-known online service with “book” in the brand name that helps people connect and share. Of course the Teachbook folks are free to create a similar service for teachers or whomever they like, and we wish them well in that endeavor. What they are not free to do is trade on our name, create confusion, or dilute our brand while doing so. Additionally, it’s important to note that where there is confusion or brand dilution as there is with Teachbook and Facebook, we must enforce our rights to protect the integrity of our trademark.

Of course, it's Facebook's burden to demonstrate users can likely confuse Teachbook with
them. Financial muscle aside, it seems they're ready to show such.

For those interested in a copy of their claim:

https://www.scribd.com/doc/36412202/Teachbook-Suit
 

Ilze

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Yahoo blocked my domain E-book.ca Now I know why. This is totally wrong.
 

Gerry

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Of course, it's Facebook's burden to demonstrate users can likely confuse Teachbook with
them. Financial muscle aside, it seems they're ready to show such.

For those interested in a copy of their claim:

https://www.scribd.com/doc/36412202/Teachbook-Suit
Item 16 of the complaint basically is the nail in the coffin for Teachbook (touting itself as the alternative to Facebook for teachers because many teachers are forbidden to have Facebook accounts).

---------- Post added at 09:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:11 PM ----------

Yahoo blocked my domain E-book.ca Now I know why. This is totally wrong.
Yahoo blocking your domain may have nothing to do with this case. It's most likely Yahoo just being douchebags as they have been for no reason whatsoever.
 

MAllie

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I think there might be a few POD (print-on-demand) companies, like Amazon's CreateSpace and Lulu, who will have something to say about the pod thing.
 

Theo

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So BookPod.com should be getting sued by both Apple and Facebook :p
 

MAllie

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Yes, lol, and what about farmers for their pea pods?
 
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