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.