Apple get heavy on use of podcast 'trademark'

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I’m an Apple fan through and through (I’d probably buy iBread and iMilk if Apple made them) but even I am getting tired of Apple making themselves look stupid.

I’ve already written about their objection to other people using the term ‘pod’ in their products – now they’ve gone further and set their lawyers on services using the term ‘podcast’ – which unfortunately is quite a lot of people.

Tom Raftery is just one observer who has seen Apple going after ‘Podcast Ready’ and their ‘myPodder’ product, amongst others.

I decided to take a look at Wikipedia (which we all know is 100% reliable, right? 🙂 ) to see what the origins of the term ‘podcast’ were. It currently states:

The term gained wide popularity as a portmanteau of iPod and broadcasting, but was seen before that as an acronym for “portable on demand”.

Whether that acronym or timing is correct, I don’t know, but it sounds plausible, in which case it’s a happy, probably intentional, acronym that also makes reference to the world’s leading portable music player.

If I were running Apple I’d find it quite flattering. Why can’t they let it alone to remain in the psyche of bloggers and web-savvy public, many of whom will make that association with the iPod?

I could understand more if the term was ‘iPodcast’ but it isn’t. Sure, Apple have a claim to the product name ‘iPod’ just as Microsoft have a claim to ‘Zune’, but they don’t have a claim to something that was never their property in the first place. To attempt to retrospectively claim a trademark for something that doesn’t relate to a service they offer is crazy.

They could legitimately pursue people using the word ‘iTunes’ in their own product names, because they created that service. They DID NOT create podcasting, so they should have no right to it.

It’s really starting to get on my nerves. Apple are increasingly looking like ‘just another corporate’ rather than applying their own ‘Think Different’ motto.

Andy Merrett

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