The fact that someone filed a trademark application for the term PODCAST covering something that sounds like podcasting services made its way through the blogosphere this past week. Not content to not worry, John Welch at TTABlog has put together a how-to write a Letter of Protest to the Trademark Office, which is appropriate when a third party has information that it wishes to bring to the attention of the Examining Attorney (like maybe PODCAST is a generic term).
In the meanwhile, if you were to receive a demand letter from someone asserting their exclusive rights in the term PODCAST, then you should retain a reputable trademark lawyer
p.s. To emphasize John’s point, the filing a U.S. trademark application does not create rights – it reserves rights that must be perfected (in part) by examination by the Trademark Office.
p.p.s. Someone managed to register INTERNET during the mid-90’s and that caused a huge traffic jam. I don’t think the Trademark Office would let that happen again.