Apple claims ownership of ‘Pad’ trademark | iLounge News


Apple claims ownership of ‘Pad’ trademark

Apple has begun banning App Store applications that contain the term ‘pad’ in the app name. Previously, the company contacted Jesse Waites, maker of ContactPad, to inform him that an update to his application would be rejected because “it [was] inappropriately using ‘Pad’ in the application name.” The company also included its product work mark guidelines, which states that the developer can use the mark “in a referential phrase such as ‘runs on,’ ‘for use with,’ ‘for,’ or ‘compatible with.’” Following Waites’ rejection, Chris Ostmo, developer of journalPad and journalPad Bible edition, received a similar notice from Apple regarding his apps’ names, and emailed Apple CEO Steve Jobs explaining his position on the matter. 9 to 5 Mac reports that Ostmo claimed to have “spent tens of thousands of dollars” on marketing and media exposure for the two apps, both of which will need to be renamed.

Jobs, in a typically brief response, wrote simply, “Its [sic] just common sense to not use another company’s trademarks in your app name.” Curiously, Apple’s Copyright and Trademark Guidelines page, linked to in the initial email to Waites, makes no mention of a “Pad” trademark, and neither does the company’s official Trademark listing. Judging by the language in both App Store correspondence emails and in Jobs’ response, however, it appears that Apple considers the “Pad” trademark to be under its ownership, and intends to defend it.

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Guess I better called fav Thai restaurant and tell them they need to change the name of their “Pad” Thai noodles…

Sometimes this gets to be a bit much…

Posted by Joseph M. on April 13, 2010 at 4:19 PM (CDT)


I guess Apple’s still ticked off about all those Maxi-Pad jokes.

Posted by JonnyOneNote on April 13, 2010 at 4:41 PM (CDT)


You have to feel sorry for these developers. The “tens of thousands” Mr Ostmo is quoted as having spent on promoting his product, are probably worth a significant amount to a small company. Apparently, using a word first in all innocence is no defence.

Posted by Natalie on April 13, 2010 at 5:30 PM (CDT)


“Do not underestimate the ignorance others. “

I agree but problems like this arise when we constantly cater to this ignorance.  With actions such as these I can easily see Apple becoming the new Microsoft 20 years down the line.

Posted by Greg K. on April 13, 2010 at 6:33 PM (CDT)


Sorry, if you at all think Apple is defending, you ARE an Apple apologist. Pad is NOT a trademark, it’s a word in common usage both in everyday language and commercial products going back decades. Apple is being the aggressor here, full stop. They’re using their army of lawyers to intimidate and otherwise force people to do what they want in the absence of any actual justification. Odds are 99.9% of developers would win against Apple, but the win itself would bankrupt most of these developers so, of course, they have no choice but to surrender to Apple’s puerile whims. When they go after the entire feminine hygiene market and win in court, I’ll believe Apple is doing more than throwing their financial muscle around.

Apple makes some decent products, but the company behaves like total ******** and *********** when it comes to what they like to believe they control.

Posted by Code Monkey on April 13, 2010 at 6:40 PM (CDT)


^ censorship intentional, fill it in with whatever you think best fits :-)

Posted by Code Monkey on April 13, 2010 at 6:42 PM (CDT)


Wonder if Apple plans to send Microsoft a C&D over the name of it’s simple text-editing app, Notepad?

Posted by Paul on April 13, 2010 at 9:36 PM (CDT)


Jordan, your legal understanding is incorrect in two ways.  First, it’s only necessary to protect a mark you actually own.  Apple simply doesn’t own a “Pad” trademark.  Second, the legal standard doesn’t turn on any estimation of “the ignorance of others.”  Rather, courts apply a reasonable person standard in situations like this.

Posted by Susan on April 13, 2010 at 10:01 PM (CDT)


I think it’s perfectly reasonable for Apple to ban new applications from using “Pad” in their name. Anyone with any common sense should be able to guess Apple would have a problem with that, and thus shouldn’t even try.

However, what’s happening here is ridiculous. Existing apps with pad in their name should be grandfathered in. The developers had no way of knowing Apple would eventually release something called the “iPad”, and forcing existing applications to change their name is just absurd. All it can possibly accomplish is driving developers away. Not only do developers have to worry about their app being rejected from the store, but once it’s in and they’ve pumped thousands of dollars into advertising, they have to worry about Apple suddenly releasing the “iWhatever” and forcing a name change.

Posted by M.P. on April 13, 2010 at 10:20 PM (CDT)


Jordan, I agree. It’s their store and they can decide what is available there.

As to tradmarking the word “pad,” well, that may be debatable. But even if they can’t, it’s still totally up to them what appears in the store…

Posted by Keith on April 14, 2010 at 8:36 AM (CDT)


Of course they can sell whatever they want in their store.  But that’s not what you said, Jordan.  You said, “Apple is merely protecting their name.”  Your focus was not on whether they have the right to exclude products (a point on which absolutely no one disagrees), but on whether their actions were warranted. 

Incidentally, the article to which you responded is titled, “Apple claims ownership of ‘Pad’ trademark.”  The concept of trademark is meaningless outside of law.

Posted by Susan on April 14, 2010 at 9:25 PM (CDT)


I’m going to have to write Steve Jobs a letter.  Where did I put my notepad?

Speaking of notepad, I wonder if they’ll go after Microsoft for having programs called “notepad” and “WordPad” bundled in the Windows OS for the last 10 years or more?

Posted by Tim on April 15, 2010 at 12:47 PM (CDT)


This just in from Kennedy Space Center…

The US space program has been shut down because Apple is suing NASA for infringing on its “Pad” trademark with the “launch pad.”  In other news, fast-food giant McDonald’s is being forced to pull their Big Mac sandwiches off of the menu, also due to a lawsuit from Apple.  Finally, controversy at the nation’s libraries is brewing over concerns that libraries will have their funding cut after a petition from Apple to the federal government has pundits on Capitol Hill speculating that libraries will no longer be able to stock books, since Apple has previously stuck the letter “i” in front of “Book,” co-opting the use of that word by anyone, anywhere, ever.

Posted by Tim on April 15, 2010 at 1:06 PM (CDT)


Jobs is an idiot.  Hopefully he’ll be out of the picture soon and more sensible heads will rule over there.

Posted by santiagodraco on April 19, 2010 at 10:25 PM (CDT)

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