Prof. Patry comments (note: chutzpah is the noun, chutzpadik is the adjective).
Engadget notes that Apple has filed two trademark applications for IPODCAST last week, covering extremely broad ranges of goods and services. Engadget’s negative reaction seems misplaced (and seems to confuse patent concepts with trademark concepts). Apple is seeking exclusive rights to use IPODCAST as a trademark to identify certain goods and services – it is not seeking (by this action) to obtain exclusive rights in either the PODCAST name, or in the underlying technology.
Given the acceptance of PODCAST as a descriptive term (and Apple’s acquiesence in that, evidenced by its own descriptive use of the term), these applications should not be viewed as anything nefarious. And it is not apparent why anyone other than Apple should be allowed to use the term IPODCAST as a trademark.
Dave Winer reminds us that someone did try to obtain exclusive rights in PODCAST as a trademark, filing an application this past February. However, Shae Spencer’s application received a preliminary refusal last week on the grounds that PODCAST is descriptive (and the Trademark Office cites Wikipedia for that point – see below).
Wow. In researching the piece I’m about to post (see above) I saw an office action (dated September 9 of this year) containing a descriptiveness objection, supoprted by live links to Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an amazing, uh, encyclopedic source, but given that anyone can edit a wiki page, its use as a reference source in Trademark Office proceedings raises questions.
Special thanks to INTA and all the presenters for putting on a great cyberspace law conference.
Update: Coverage of Hurricane Ophelia indicates that there is a Surf City in North Carolina.
Prof. Patry on Substantial Similarity.
Actor Jay Mohr has been guest-writing at Sports Illustrated and has written about names twice, once about Florida State’s use of SEMINOLES for its football team and once about the Los Angeles Athletic Club’s use of JOHN R. WOODEN for an award.
This sign caught my eye the other day.