Apple sends Pivotal C&D letter over Podium accessory | iLounge News


Apple sends Pivotal C&D letter over Podium accessory


Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to Pivotal, makers of the iPhone and iPod touch stand Podium, claiming it infringes on the company’s “Pod” trademark. A portion of the letter, published by TUAW, states “[t]he term POD has also been adopted and used extensively in the marketplace by consumers as an abbreviation to refer to Apple’s IPOD player. The IPOD and POD marks indicate to consumers that a broad range of products, including portable electronic devices, computer software, and related goods and services bearing those marks and marks similar thereto originate from or are sponsored or endorsed by Apple.”

While Apple has in the past gone after companies who lacked a logical defense against such a claim, as Pivotal’s president Scott Baumann points out, “If you look at our product and then look up the word Podium in the dictionary, I think it becomes pretty clear where our branding inspiration came from.” The letter goes on to allege that the Podium’s design mimics the stands of recent iMac models, that Pivotal’s website apes Apple’s brand stylization, and also covers Pivotal’s upcoming FlyPod product. Pivotal is currently seeking legal advice on the matter.

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The term “POD” belongs to Apple? Get real, what is apple planning to do? Sue the whales for traveling in a POD? Or sue anyone who comments on someone who is behaving strangely by saying, “check the basement for PODS”? Idiots! Of course once enough people start applying that term in the marketplace to Apple’s legal team, I’m sure they’ll trademark that as well.

Posted by Rand on March 18, 2009 at 11:43 AM (CDT)


I guess that my Podiatrist will have to change professions now.

Posted by rockmyplimsoul on March 18, 2009 at 12:11 PM (CDT)


I guess that Apple is also in the maternity wear business (A Pea in the Pod).

Posted by otaku on March 18, 2009 at 12:15 PM (CDT)


p.s. I never refer to my iPod as a “POD”, nor have I heard anyone do so.  Do people do this?

Posted by otaku on March 18, 2009 at 12:17 PM (CDT)


I guess the Portable On Demand Storage (PODS) company will have to change their moving and storage cubes as well…. ridiculous claim by Apple.

Posted by jimlat on March 18, 2009 at 12:50 PM (CDT)


Isn’t this a 100% reversal of their position in Apple Records v. Apple Computer?

Posted by DPS on March 18, 2009 at 1:31 PM (CDT)


Apple takes one more step toward becoming as beloved and admired as Microsoft in the technology world… ;)

This could very well be the stupidest C&D;letter from a company that seems to make this their main hobby. The product’s name, “podium”, is what the product is - a platform to raises something up. That a defining moniker happens to have the synchronicity of containing 3 of the 4 letters of Apple’s not very original brand is, at best, maybe intentional. Even if it was intentional, it is nowhere close to violating trademark. I hope they tell Apple to stick their C&D;where the sun don’t shine.

Pod means base or foot, not media player and Apple’s lawyers are clearly the sort of lawyers that inspire laughs from jokes about committing mass homicide upon them.

Posted by Code Monkey on March 18, 2009 at 2:10 PM (CDT)


Just an observation:
Isnt podium pronounced PO-dium [poh-dee-uhm]... and not POD-ium [pod-ee-uhm]. So, hypetheticaly speaking, if a company wanted to name their product using the “POD” associatedion wouldnt a another word be less confusing for consumers?

Posted by djJASMAN on March 18, 2009 at 5:17 PM (CDT)


do not tell apple there are POD people among us, or apple will hunt them down and sue them

Posted by mistermark on March 18, 2009 at 7:04 PM (CDT)


This is pretty much the same nonsense that Monster Cables tried to do to a mini-golf course that “dared’ to use the word “Monster” in their company name. Thank you corporate America for thinking that you can buy exclusive rights to commonplace words! Sigh, no more POD people, no more teleport PODS, no more PODS storage units, no more escape PODS (sans licensing fees, of course).

Posted by ajira99 on March 19, 2009 at 12:48 PM (CDT)

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