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Apple tells bar owner to stop using iPod name

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By Nino Marchetti

Contributing Editor
Published: Friday, February 9, 2007
News Categories: iPod

A bar owner in Des Moines, Iowa, looks to have gotten himself into hot water with Apple’s legal department over a weekly iPod event he hosts. Clint Curtis, owner of Lift, runs a weekly event called iPod Monday in which he lets those who bring their iPods share their music collections with others. Apple recently sent Curtis a cease-and-desist email in which they told him “with respect to the podcast and associated site, iPod Monday, Apple has determined that your product name, which incorporates the word ‘iPod’, violates Apple’s trademark guidelines… please choose a name for your product that is consistent with Apple’s guidelines (that does not include iPod or any other Apple trademark or variation thereon).”

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Comments

41

He <should> call it Zune Monday, just to be like that…

Posted by dude.... on February 10, 2007 at 7:50 PM (PDT)

42

The owner should call it, “Steve Jobs is a Jerk Monday.” That would be legal as it is his opinnion and would help send a nifty message.

Posted by Mike on February 10, 2007 at 9:32 PM (PDT)

43

I’m quickly becoming an Apple/Mac convert, but the more stories I read about these silly C&D letters, the more pissed I get at Apple. C’mon Jobs, do you really think people will ever get confused about who makes the iPod? If you’re going to take a stand on DRM, why not go one step further and address the need for reform in the entire copyright/patent/trademark system?

Posted by Laer on February 10, 2007 at 10:22 PM (PDT)

44

Apple do have the reputation to be very protective of its trademarks, but it has to do so. Trademark rights diminish over time if a mark is not actively used. And if you registered your trademark, which Apple does, failure to actively use or to enforce the registration (in case of infringement) will expose the owner lose its trademark with the removal of the trademark from the register after a certain period of time. This is why I believe Apple is so protective of its marks.

Posted by ATB on February 11, 2007 at 12:49 AM (PDT)

45

the people defending this are straight out of kafka.

Posted by un-be-lievable on February 11, 2007 at 1:47 AM (PDT)

46

@ATP: this has been covered already - trademark law allows for the same name to be used for radically different products.
Also, it’s not like the guy who owns the bar was trying to say he invented or designed the iPod or came up with the name, it was clearly used in reference to the Apple product. I mean, just because ‘iPod’ is trademarked, doesn’t mean other people can’t use the word to refer to an iPod, does it?


@saminegm: 99% of lawyers give the other 1% a bad name, eh? wink

Posted by Step666 on February 11, 2007 at 11:58 AM (PDT)

47

Doesn’t anyone find it curious that Jobs preaches about the end of DRMs only to have the Apple lawyers so fervently attack any possible misuse of its trademark. Is there not a double standard?

Posted by fasbjd on February 11, 2007 at 12:46 PM (PDT)

48

Reb Duttons,  did you mean to post the same story that this “blog” links to or was there another point?


When did the people on this board decide to make up the fact that tracks are being swapped at iPod Mondays?  Have you read anything about what the event actually is? 

“patrons create 15-minute playlists based on a theme and hook them up to the bar’s speaker system”

Time to put down the stone tablets and pay attention.

Posted by superape on February 11, 2007 at 2:29 PM (PDT)

49

This is sooo stupid why cant Apple leave small businesses alone and focus on beating Microsoft or something like that.

Posted by doug1981 on February 11, 2007 at 3:49 PM (PDT)

50

In fact a lot of those “armchair lawyers” have got it right. I am a lawyer who works in the music industry and has a background in intellectual property.

Apple must enforce their trademark in every situation. If they did not then a court might not enforce their trademark when Apple sues a later infringer. Apple does not want iPod to become a term for any mp3 players, ala “Kleenex,” “Polo Shirt,” or “Xerox.” All of these trademakrs marks have become synonymous with items from any manufacturer who makes tissues, collored three-button shirt, and copy machines.

Posted by ShaytMG, Esq. on February 11, 2007 at 5:39 PM (PDT)

51

Even in Iowa you can’t hide from the long arm of Apple’s legal department.

Is Apple’s posturing dumb? Sure…to me it is. But it IS Apple’s right to protect their brand and trademark as they see fit. If they think that a bar in Des Moines, IA should not use the ‘iPod’ name, they have all the right in the U.S. Patent & Trademark world to wield as big a stick as they want.

So much for good will. But that’s Apple’s call, not ours.

Posted by flatline response on February 11, 2007 at 6:01 PM (PDT)

52

lol!  I never expected my home town to be on ilounge!

I find this hilarous!  So much for doing a little bit of free advertising for iPods…

Posted by Caleb on February 12, 2007 at 6:54 AM (PDT)

53

Change it to “Zune Monday”, that should make them think. Or “dOpi Monday” just for fun.

Posted by Vic on February 12, 2007 at 7:01 AM (PDT)

54

Sharing music means stealing music

Posted by Steve on February 12, 2007 at 8:37 AM (PDT)

55

this has very little to do with the iPod name being used and everything to do with how it is being used. If the bar owner said “everyone with an iPod gets one free drink” we would never have had this situation. This is all about the file sharing aspect. The record industry already views the iPod as the symbol of their demise and if Apple allows this guy to have a file sharing night and use their name for it, the record companies will go nuts pointing their collective fingers at Steve Jobs and saying “you see, iPods were designed for music theft! and Apple supports this” This is an important time in this industry with some labels considering DRM free music, and a story like this could set them back to the beginning.

Posted by vic6string on February 12, 2007 at 9:34 AM (PDT)

56

vic6string, what are you talking about?  Do you think there is file sharing at this event?

Posted by superape on February 12, 2007 at 10:11 AM (PDT)

57

I don’t see what the big deal is.  I would compare it to the NFL telling bars that they can’t advertise “super bowl” parties.
Posted by Pugetsound


actually, Super Bowl is trademarked and most bars/advertisers call it ‘the big game’ unless they paid the NFL to use the term ‘Super Bowl’

Posted by mdwsta4 on February 12, 2007 at 11:49 AM (PDT)

58

sorry, i can’t edit my previous post, but here’s a blurb about the SB
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/01/31/super-bowl-the-law-the-teams-gcs-and-the-nfls-ip-police/

i do think it’s stupid, but like others have said, trademarks are there for a reason and if you don’t enforce it on some things, how are you supposed to enforce it with others? why not just call it ‘your music mondays’ or something like that? then you can include ALL mp3 players and possibly gain larger audience participation.

Posted by mdwsta4 on February 12, 2007 at 11:56 AM (PDT)

59

I have a question not really relating to this topic but really need an answer.  I really want to buy a new ipod but don’t know if I should get the ipod video or wait for the next generation of ipods.  I’m not going to buy the iphone but also I don’t want to wait a year for a new ipod to come out.  A few years ago I bought a mini and soon after nanos and videos came out.  I really don’t want this to happen again where I buy a ipod and the next day a new one come out.  PLEASE HELP!!!!!!

Posted by ralf Keinseet on February 13, 2007 at 9:03 AM (PDT)

60

iPHONE anyone? 

Apple is sooo keen on protecting their rights, but then stepping on ... SYSCO, Apple Music… just to name a few…

TWO-FACED!

Posted by Jerry on February 13, 2007 at 11:17 AM (PDT)

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