Apple has stepped up its legal crackdown on businesses using the word ‘pod’ in product and company names.
The company sent a cease-and-desist order last week to Podcast Ready, which markets an application known as myPodder that lets users download podcasts directly to a portable music player.
Lawyers for Apple contended that the term ‘pod’ has been used by the public to refer to Apple’s music player so extensively that it falls under Apple’s trademark protection, according to a copy of the legal complaint published on the Podcast Ready website.
“Podcast Ready and myPodder consist in substantial part of Apple’s iPod mark and contain Apple’s ‘pod’ mark in its entirety,” the Apple legal document charged.
The letter also cites existing and pending trademark applications in the US and internationally for the terms ‘iPod’ and ‘Pod’.
Apple is demanding that Podcast Ready removes trademark applications for its company name and software.
The legal notice suggests that Apple is claiming the word ‘podcast’ as a registered trademark. Although originally derived from the word ‘iPod’, ‘podcast’ has become a generic term to refer to user-generated online audio content.
Earlier this month, Apple settled with designer Terry Wilson who had created the TightPod laptop bag. The product has now been renamed Tight Jacket.
Apple had not responded to a request for comment about the Podcast Ready allegations by press time.
The New Oxford American Dictionary defines ‘podcast’ as “a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the internet for downloading to a personal audio player”.