back to article Apple in 873-page legal claim to word 'Pod'

Apple really, really, really wants exclusive rights to the word “Pod,” in names for tech products, the company has argued in an 873-page legal brief filed earlier this week. Steve Jobs & Co submitted the voluminous document in a dispute with Sector Labs, a startup that's developing a projector called the Video Pod, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Wonder if they'll take on medical technology like OmniPod (a tubeless insulin pump). That'd be a fun showdown to watch.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is why

    there needs to be an open season on lawyers.

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
      Jobs Horns


      It is time I think to think of reasons why we have a legal system. I would have thought that the reason law exists is to protect the weak and persecuted, to ensure fair hearings and ensure wrong doers are prosecuted.

      Idealistically I would think that a lawyer should strive to some sense of goodness and fairness.

      If you are a true lawyer, please see this for what it is. A (very) dominant company trying to intimidate and step on so many others. To control language itself in quite a very real way.

      I don't know who Apple's lawyers are but I am pretty sure they do not have conscience. If you happen to be one of them, I spit on you metaphorically. I have no respect for you. You give lawyers a bad name.

      People like you make all of us out there come up with statements above. My own feeling is you should all be put out in a boat far to sea and said boat sunk.

      You are indeed the lowest form of life. Mainly because you have a choice on how to wield your power and influence and you choose this.


      1. Wommit
        Thumb Down


        98% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Great! Except...

      ... when you need one for driving offences, divorce settlements, false arrest, contracts with unscrupulous clients, or for defending a copyright infringement suit for using someone's IP in your website or publication.

      Where is the Ouroboros icon?

    3. penguin slapper


      This is why there needs to be an intelligent evaluation of IP Law.

    4. Robert E A Harvey
      Big Brother

      Leftpondian bo**cks

      I can't imagine a judge in England, or France for that matter, taking any longer over this that the time it takes to laugh.

      People who live in a country where this can even be taken seriously long enough to start an action need to have a word with their politicians.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Copyrighting the phrase "S Jobs, Steve Jobs or Steven Jobs" and then charging him $20,000 for each reference could have its merits... Maybe I could find some sleeze bag lawyer to work on percentage?

    6. Stone Fox

      the rules...


      US Government Department of Fish and "WildLife"

      Sec. 1200

      1. Any person with a valid hunting license may harvest attorneys.

      2. Taking of attorneys with traps or deadfalls

      is permitted. The use of currency as bait is prohibited.

      3. Killing of attorneys with a vehicle is prohibited.

      If accidentally struck, remove dead

      attorney to roadside and proceed to nearest car wash.

      4. It is unlawful to chase, herd, or harvest attorneys

      from a snow machine, helicopter, or aircraft.

      5. It shall be unlawful to shout "whiplash",

      "ambulance", or "free Perrier" for the purpose of trapping attorneys.

      6. It shall be unlawful to hunt attorneys within

      100 yards of BMW dealerships.

      7. It shall be unlawful to hunt attorneys within

      200 yards of courtrooms, law libraries, whorehouses,

      health spas, gay bars, ambulances, or hospitals.

      8. If an attorney is elected to government

      office, it shall be a felony to hunt, "entrap", or

      possess it.

      9. Stuffed or mounted attorneys must have a

      state health department inspection for rabies, and vermin.

      10. It shall be illegal for a hunter to

      disguise himself as a reporter, drug dealer, pimp,

      female legal clerk, sheep, accident victim,

      bookie, or tax accountant for the purpose of

      hunting attorneys.

  3. Vulch

    Paging Mr Tracy

    Those things you carry with Thunderbird 2, there's a Mr Jobs wants you to rename them.

    After all, what's techier than International Rescue?

    Thunderbirds are...

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Weapons pod

    “What I'm hoping to do with this case is to really reach a lot broader of an audience and make it so entrepreneurs and small businesses can use the English language as they see fit in branding their products”

    I'm sure an Armalite 15 would reach that goal far quicker than a doing the "case" song-and-dance.

  5. ShaggyDoggy


    Apple would have my sympathies at all if they hadn't reneged on their promise not to use the word Apple in connection with the music industry,

    Glass houses, stones, etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No sympathy from this corner either

      Apple didn't bother to respect others product names when they released the iPhone, despite several companies having products by that name.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They didn't

      The promise was not that they wouldn't use the name Apple in connection with the music industry. It was that they wouldn't use it in connection with music publishing, which they don't.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        They did.

        If distributing music via the internet isn't an acknowledged form of publishing, I don't know what isn't! Ever here of Web Publishing? An accepted form of free press (unless you are a blogger who keeps scooping the supposed pro's) by mass media. That has to do with words and images but we also see videos and 'pod casts' as a form of publishing. Ergo, it should be acknowledged that distributing music (or video!) is also publishing.

        BTW, I wonder when the term Pod-Cast will get its day in court?

      2. bobbles31

        Only in this to the letter legal lawyer filled world...

        would someone with a straight face try to draw a distinction between music publishing and iTunes. iTunes "Publishes" music on the Internet. Ergo, Apple used their company name to publish music. iTunes would not have taken off, Apple's iTunes was always going to take off.

  6. Gary F
    Jobs Horns

    100's of pod companies for apple to take a bite of

    On the FIRST page of a Google search I found these businesses with "pod" in their name. They have NOTHING to do with the iPod or similar gadgets:

    POD Food

    The Pod Company

    POD (Payable On Death, American metal band, 1992, still going)

    Pod Exhibition Systems

    The Pod Site

    Hov Pod

    Join The Pod

    There must be 100's more, maybe 1000.

    Apple - s*d off. Greedy corporate.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      You mean Jobs can pod off ;-)

    2. CD001


      The excellent range of POD Guitar FX processors!

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. JMB

    Apple in 873-page legal claim to word 'Pod'

    Is "Pad" next?

    1. Shonko Kid
      Jobs Horns

      Don't be ridiculous.

      It'll be 'Phone' :-/

    2. I Like Heckling Silver badge

      Is "Pad" next?

      I think Apple would have a hard time convincing anyone that word 'pad' is in anyway only attributed to them... can anyone else "think" of a product from IBM for example. :)

    3. dct


      Nope - Phone.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm sure

      that Kotex and Stayfree will have something to say about that... However, I think they could argue that Apple have encroached on some of their service or trade marks with the release of the iPad.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns


      That will be a sad day for feminine hygine product manufacturers . .

  9. JMB

    Apple in 873-page legal claim to word 'Pod'

    Does that mean we can no longer talk of pea pods?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      What about poppy pods??

      1. Asiren

        What about the dolphins?

        Will gatherings of dolphins be forbidden?

  10. John Angelico

    Prior Art...?

    [Dave Bowman] HAL, open the pod bay doors please.

    [HAL9000] I'm sorry Dave but I can't do that.

    And let Apple face the consequences as expensively as possible.

  11. Cunningly Linguistic
    Jobs Horns


    William Gibson's Johnny Mnemonic stealing an "ipod" from an electronics workshop in the 1995 eponymous film.

    I wonder how long before that Gibson had used that name in an electronics sense. Maybe in his 1981 short story of the same name?

    Perhaps he should be suing Apple?

  12. Leeroy


    Oh no i hope they leave Jenny Frosts POD alone :)

  13. Dr_Jim

    Apple patents Oxford English dictionary????

    I think Apple may be over-reaching a little on this!

    There is prior usage of the term pod in the computer industry. Going back to 1984, HP had a calculator pod used to connect external devices. I reference for details on the HP75D.

    There is also a usage in

    Here a 2inch by 4 inch pod is used.

    Most appropriately, I believe Frederic Pohl, the famous SciFy writer, may (like Arthur Clarke with satellite TV) lay claim to conceiving the iPod. I quote "Each Heechee carries a microwave emitter in a storage pod between his or her legs. The pod is a trapezohedron shaped device and is also used for carrying equipment. The pods also explain why the seats on the ship have V-shaped indentations to accommodate the devices. " (This is from the Heechee page on Wikipedia) I think this one may go back to 1972 or earlier!

    Mr Jobs may be dancing in a minefield with this idea!

  14. Lars Silver badge
    Jobs Halo

    Not the iMan behind this

    It must be all the lawyers who are taking command like they tend to do when the carcase is big enough. Not much hope for a life at Apple after the iMan.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Pod People

    Probably a good description of iFans. There are a lot of tech-related things that use 'Pod', I doubt that His Jobsiness will get exclusive use for this. I think there's even a "Virtual Pod" or something for VR games.

  16. Kit-Fox

    Prior Art anyone???

    As I recall from my days play the battletech games, that there was a 'pod' in use at various VR locations across the world that you could sit in and gave you the immersed feeling of actually being inside the cockpit of a mech.

    I recall they used the word pod in their name, perhaps the company that made them could remind apple that they werent the first to use the word pod in their products in the technology world & as such have no rights to stop anyone else from using it.

    Or is that just too much common sense to expect from the legal profession??

    1. Mr Mark V Thomas

      Re: VWE "Battletech Pods"

      Virtual Worlds Entertainment used the term "pods" in their literature for their versions of Battletech & Red Planet Mars...

      (Red Planet Mars was a racing game based on a colonised Mars, delevoped by bored miners, using "kitbashed" racers, & featured "Wierd Al" Yankovich in the introductory video, as a underground race organiser).

      The Tesla 2 pod system was used at the only VWE arcade that I knew of (The Trocadero Centre in Central London), though they were considering upgrading to the Tesla 3 pod system before a series of floods took it out (as well as the Alien War attraction, & the rest of the basement)...

      The most notable feature of the VWE arcade, apart from the leather sofas (it was finished out as a "Victorian Gentlemen's Club" style wise) was it had a functioning bar (for a while, the only one in the Trocadero)...

  17. Tom 35

    Another company that need a kick is...

    Monster, maker of vastly over priced cables who goes after anyone who uses Monster in their name.

  18. Stephen W Harris

    Other technical uses of pod

    Escape pod, cargo pod, transporter pod (eg Space 1999), OMS Pod (Space Shuttle), POD (perl Plain Old Documentation).

    Also been used to describe a workstation environment ("work pod").

    If memory serves, Psion 3a datacables had a "pod" in the middle of them.

    There's so much prior art that it probably took 873 pages to sufficiently define the usage Apple want to lock down so that existing usage from decades ago isn't relevant!

  19. Deadly_NZ


    The Original receptical for Peas..

    ie: 2 Peas in a Pod

    A pod of Killer Whales.

  20. uninventiveheart

    Why stop there?

    Why can't Apple trademark vowels why they're at it? Anything "e-" or "i-" anything could get Jobs money.

    Seriously... anything less than three letters which can be combined into a larger word could let Apple sue them out of existance. (Consider the Spanish infinitive "poder" and all of it's conjugations.) Unless the USPTO has a top bureaucrat under the table of the Apple Board of Directors (use any visual image you like), this won't happen at all.

    1. kissingthecarpet

      Nothing to do with patents

      is it? So why speak of the USPTO? You even mentioned trademarking in you first paragraph.

  21. henrydddd

    why not?

    Perhaps he should try to copyright every word in the dictionary with the letter "i" in it while he is at it.

    1. kissingthecarpet

      Not anything to do with copyright either

      is it? Its about Trademarks! Not patents or copyrights or prior art. Even if Apple trademark every bleedin' word and character in existence, you'll only not be allowed to start a company or sell a product with the same or similar name. You can still use the fucking words in normal speech and writing. This sort of legal action is bad enough without confusing it with other bad legal actions.

  22. Big Al

    Which way...

    ... to the escape pod?

  23. rahul

    Censored by Jobs...

    ... So there I was, sitting in my bachelor p**, enjoying a juicy, shiny red a****. While I was grooving to my latest t****, along came my health-nut girlfriend, saying I should really be eating peas freshly split from the p**s. Just then, I received a p**** call from the boss at my w***place, who wanted to know why the video d** that he had asked for a client was not ready yet. I logged on to the w** and fired up my c*** client, but since my contact was not online, I sent an e-m*** instead. I got a reply while watching a m**** starring Bruce Willis on my t*, but when I clicked on the attachment i***, all I could see was a still p****graph. I double checked that there was no problem with my O*, and then I even checked the b****** disks, but no go. I then tried to take control of my office computer using r***** d******, and sy** my folders, but inspite of having it finish in real q**** t***, as well as using a t*x* ed**or to manually check the list of folders, I was not able to retrieve my wo**. After checking my ***endar, I realized there was no way I could finish up unless I used a t*** m******. I told my boss, who was wild, and booked my on a one way s***** back to b**tc**p.

    (This document edited to omit possible and/or probable references to the following Apple (TM) products: iPad, Apple, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iWork, iDVD, iWeb, iChat, Apple Mail, iMovie, Apple TV, Icon Composer, iPhoto, iOS, Apple Backup, Apple Remote Desktop, iSync, QuickTime, TextEdit, iWork, iCal, TimeMachine, Safari and BootCamp. Other words and phrases may or may not belong to Apple Inc, now or in the future. Trademarks belong to original holders.).

  24. Graham Lockley

    Well that explains it

    'Open the pod bay doors HAL'

    'I'm sorry Dave, Apple wont let me do that'

  25. David Barrett


    iAlmostWetMyself !

  26. Neil Davis

    This is dumb...

    Words that are part of the English language (or any other for that matter) should not be targets of copyright. period.

  27. John Tserkezis

    JMP @ Is "Pad" next?JMB

    It's already been done:

    Perhaps he should take "fanboi" and be done with it. After all, it's his idiot fans that keep buying all this pod and pad rubbish.

  28. ShaggyDoggy

    Prior art

    Sorry Mr Jobs these started in 1976

  29. ShaggyDoggy

    Apple in 873-page legal claim to word 'Pod'

    For when 872 pages just isn't enough

  30. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Why is there even a debate about this ?

    If it's in the dictionary, then YOU CANNOT CLAIM ANYTHING ON IT !!

    If it's not clear, then give me the whip and I'll make it clear to you in no time.

    1. henrydddd

      Why is there even a debate about this ?

      However, the word "pod" is in the dictionary and apple thinks it can copyright that!

  31. Dave Foster

    BBC Game

    Don't forget the old BBC computer game 'Pod'.

  32. trachycarpus


    And what do we call Dolphins as well.

  33. Richard Scratcher

    Open the pod bay doors

    Apple have decided to use the word pod as a name for one of their products even though it isn't a pod in any sense of the word. Now that people associate this word with their product e.g. "podcasts", they want to own it.

    No way Pedro.

  34. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    They've got their work cut out for them...

    The PODS domain is already claimed -

  35. This post has been deleted by its author

  36. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Jobs Horns


    I guess there's three advantages -

    1) They may just win their case.

    2) It scares others away from even thinking about using "Pod".

    3) It's publicity anyway.

    I'd love to see what's in the 873 page brief - Sounds like they were re-living the nightmare of school detention; write 100,000 words on alternative uses for a household brick. I wonder how much is "Lorem Ipsum", cut and pasted when they got bored :-)

    At least it hopefully tied up lawyers when they could have been pursuing some hapless individuals over something largely inconsequential.

    1. Neill Mitchell

      Worse still

      They know the poor sodding company on the receiving end may go bust if they choose to fight to the end. Even if they have insurance, all their subsequent premiums are going to sky rocket. This is going to cost whoever covers them a bomb.

      This is just another example of bully boy tactics from Apple. Shameful.

  37. Antti Roppola

    floating Jobs

    Will Steve sue citing confusing similarity about the Jobs floating in my loo?

  38. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Well within their rights

    Oh come on. Apple has the product iPod. People are sticking Pod on the end of product names to cash in.

    If Microsoft can stop people using anything that sounds or looks like Windows, then Apple can surely do the same too for their trademarks.

    Microsoft stopped a Linux distribution being called Lindows and that is a different word and a made up one at that.

    1. dervheid


      And maybe glazing companies should sue Microstuffed for people confusing their shitty little product with REAL windows...

      Or maybe publishers could sue Apple over the Macbook, based on your initial premise...

      POD, it's a WORD. NO-ONE gets to 'own' words. Apart from corporate lawyers. They've pretty much come to define the word WANKERS...

    2. Anonymous Coward


      If you bothered to read the article instead of just blindly agreeing with your great leader you might have noticed the product Apple is going after is a video projector... hmm I can see how that would be so similar to the iPod, a handheld device to play music, so obviously the company are trying to cash in on Apple's success.

      The issue with Lindows was that it actually was being made to copy Windows but in an open source way. It tried to look like Windows and run any program that Windows could, so essentially was a complete copy in exactly the same field with the name changed by 1 letter. If this company was selling an mp3 player that was made to look and function like an iPod but they called it an ePod then yes I would agree Apple would have a case but they don't!

    3. Nev C
      Jobs Horns

      Well within their rights - Not really !

      '......a made up one at that.'

      The significant part of that little exercise (and it was 'marketed' as suitable replacement for MS Windows users IIRC).

    4. PsychicMonkey


      Microsoft bought the name Lindows. This is because they ran the risk of losing the trademark which shouldn't have been granted in the first place.

    5. Anonymous Coward


      > Oh come on. Apple has the product iPod. People are sticking Pod on the end of product names to cash in.

      'Pod' is just a word which Apple have popularised. In trademark terms it is a generic mark. Generic marks are not sufficiently distinctive to serve as trademarks. Thus, 'Pod' outside the context of portable music players is not a registered trademark of Apple, and in no way infringes upon their trademark.

      IOW: Apple just don't have the right to the exclusive use of the word 'pod' no matter how much they don't like it.

      > Microsoft stopped a Linux distribution being called Lindows and that is a different word and a made up one at that. "As early as 2002, a court rejected Microsoft's claims, stating that Microsoft had used the term "windows" to describe graphical user interfaces before the product, Windows, was ever released, and that the windowing technique had already been implemented by Xerox and Apple many years before. Microsoft kept seeking retrial, but in February 2004, a judge rejected two of Microsoft's central claims. The judge denied Microsoft's request for a preliminary injunction and raised "serious questions" about Microsoft's trademark. Microsoft feared that a court may define "Windows" as generic and result in the loss of its status as a trademark."

      Not quite the same thing as estabishing that Lindows encroached on their trademark.

      In the end Microsoft paid $20 million for the Lindows trademark and probably the only reason Lindows agreed was to make M$ fuck off and go away.

  39. Stratman


    The old BBC Micro (remember them?) had plug in jobbies called 'Podules'.

    Prior use Jobs, so do something useful and fix your phones so they can be used by hand-equipped humans.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Oh oh.

      Podules were for Acorn Archimedes machines, although I suppose that the A3000 was branded as a BBC micro. Not the classic 8-bit 6502A based BBC A and B though!

  40. James O'Brien
    Jobs Horns

    Sod off crApple


    Why is it that Apple think that they and they alone should be able to use the word 'POD' in their products? Im sorry but if this actually succeeds then it will set a whole new low for companies and pretty soon we will have to license words from said companies just to be able to say them when we talk. Ok yes I know thats probably going to far but this is just asinine. How much longer until the dictionary definition for 'Pod' is changed to mention that it is a word associated with Apple products?

  41. Doug Glass

    Fuck Jobs ...

    ... and the horse he rode in on too. This little pissant is rapidly becoming just another microsoft in a turtleneck bib.

  42. Tzael

    Sci-fi the biggest victim

    "Quick, get to the escape pods, the ship's going down!"

    "Err sir, after that unfortunate court case with Mega-Apple-Corp we can't call them that anymore."

    "Yeah yeah, just tell everyone to get to the inter-planetary survival and protection vehicles, we'll put a 'pod' through Apple's letterbox if we survive..."

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Other words too...

    Does that mean that I can no longer wear a dirty mac? Or that we're not allowed to call Michael McIntyre a cunt because Steve Jobs was one first?

    Or could it be that Apple shouldn't be allowed to use the word Apple in their name because it might confuse people wanting to buy an item of fruit?

    Reminds me of the time BMW sent out threatening letters to businesses with the word Mini in their title. They did it because apparently they, BMW, claimed they had spent a long time building up customer good will and they didn't want these companies playing on and potentially damaging that good will. Which would be fine if you didn't consider the fact that BMW hadn't been using the name Mini for as long as most of those businesses. Likewise Apple, there are a lot of products with the name Pod in the title which have been around a lot longer than some over priced* music player. This makes as much sense as them protecting the words Pad, Tunes and Phone. Now please Mr. Jobs just fuck off and leave the English language alone.

    * What an Apple product over priced. Shome mishtake shirley.

  44. heyrick Silver badge

    English, huh?

    If this woman is so concerned about the ability to have companies use English words as they see fit, why can't she understand that it is highly unlikely to require an 873 page document to make this point. If their arguement can't be stated on a couple of sides of A4 (even in legalese), it's a bogus argument. I'm sure they're hoping few people will actually bother to read and query the document.


    Now, excuse me while I throw a few logic chips to an old PIC stuffed inside a joss stick tube with a vibrating motor (got one from an old mobile phone) to cobble together a dead-simple <cough> vibrator , a high-tech (overkill, surely?) device I think I might call "the FuckPod". Oh yes... [ps: anybody else except Apple & subsidiaries is free to pilch this idea, provided they keep the name]

  45. fLaMePrOoF

    Steve Jobs...

    What a complete twat.

  46. Doug Glass

    I guess this megalomaniacal ...

    ... pathetic little POS will now lay claim to all the world's whales.

  47. ratfox
    Thumb Up

    Hope Apple loses this one

    These lawyers are earning too bloody much money as it is.

    I thought common words could not get protected?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      If he loses.....

      ... the lawyers will just rake in more £££££ mounting an appeal :-/

  48. Jonas Taylor

    Just One Question....

    Surely the legal system needs simplifying if companies are submitting 850+ pages in these sort of disputes? That's a lot of material, especially when common sense tells you that Apple is WAY over stepping the boundary here. Either the majority of it will be ignored or people will have to be paid to read it and we all know that legal professionals aren't cheap.

    Big tech firms shouldn't be allowed to bully companies out of using standard dictionary words. I hope Apple gets put in their place but they've got little to lose here. If they lose then that's what they were expecting and they write off a bit in legal costs; if they win then they get access to a trademark the likes of which hasn't been seen since Microsoft managed to grab "Windows".

    Again, do they really need 873 pages when any layman could tell you that they shouldn't be allowed the trademark?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's different

      The difference between MS Using the word 'Windows' for one of their products and Apple trying to prevent anyone using the word 'pod' is that 'Windows' is a specific name for a specific product. MS have not prevented anyone using the word 'Windows' to describe the things that go in your walls, they have only prevented people from 'passing off' ie: making an identical or substantially similar product with the same or similar name (Lindows, would be a good example). Apple, however, are trying to prevent anyone from using the word 'pod' for anything.

  49. Steve Evans


    Right, we need to go back after them, the word "Job" being well known English slang for a turd. "Jobs" is obviously the plural form of this noun.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Great idea

      And now we know what icon we need for his holiness.

  50. Nev
    Jobs Horns

    Pods... Old as the hills

    There was IEEE488 interface for the Commodore64 to use full size Pet Floppy drives with it.

    That was in the mid 80s.

    It was called an Interpod.

    I think that pre-dates any other Apple "pod" tech product.

  51. Rogerborg

    >"Is "Pad" next?"

    Why stop there? iPod, iPad... iPhone.

  52. Fatman

    Apple tries to claim the word "Pod"

    IMHO, Apple can go ahead and file to claim the word "shit".

    They can have THAT word all to themselves.

    How about a `bullshit` icon??

    1. richard 7

      And how about

      The device that converts my D Reg Landrover Defender into an Ambulance oddly called a 'POD'

      Or PODs Couriers that have been around for years

  53. Fr. Ted Crilly Silver badge

    as ever jobs = arrogant tosser

    My work shoes are 'POD' branded and very comfy too.

  54. Anonymous Coward

    Military used it for ages!

    Just look for "recce pod" (322,000 results), "ECM pod" (416,000 results), "weapon pod" (903,000 result). Should miltary buy now hardware from Apple? Oh well, probably some Talibans would get out from their hidings just to be hit by bombs with an apple engraved? That would be sooooo cooooool!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Reduce, reuse, recycle..

      Oooh, they could use all those exploding LiIon batteries as munitions..


  55. LaeMing


    of the Pod people, that is.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    I wonder if " pod marani " is included in this extensive 873 page document. OK its Bengali but the translation surely epitomises modern thought on Apples' attempt to take over the world.....

  57. Greemble

    Dealing with lawyers

    Groucho Marx had the right idea

    When are they going after Santa Pod Raceway?

    I wonder how long before Apple's legal dept decides the fruit has to be re-named?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You can't fool me. There ain't no sanity clause.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    873 page doment

    So, wa it written in Word or iWork?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      Word, definitely.

      No-one would ever consider using a Mac to do actual work- their own I'm-a-PC adverts said they weren't built for it...

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Copyright landgrab.

    Can I be the first to copyright the name iFOD for the first time some careless groundcrew member loses their MP3 player into a jet engine?

    Paris. Just because.

  60. Michael Shaw

    Registered trademarks

    Remember, its not copyright, its not patent law, its trademark law at issue here.

    The issue is how wide is the trademark protection for i-pod, a trademark that is used and is recognised around the world as Apple's music player. i-pod itself probably deserves protection.

    But the real question is this: if you see a product with pod in its name, how likly are you to think its an apple product from the i-pod family?

    Part of the issue is the bredth of the section that electronic prodcuts are part of in trademark law, and partly apple's desire to maximise their freedom for future movement, expecially considering how badly burnt Apple got over the apple trademark. The last settlement when apple bought the apple trademark from the Apple music label is confidential, (and alas wasnt revealed when they filed their accounts this time) but is reputed to be have been many times the millions paid at the previous settlement.

  61. Anonymous Coward


    what happened to minimalism?

    Once again Apple can't put their money where their mouth is.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What a laugh

    They might actually be a company worth checking out but for the arrogance of their chief iSchmuck and the closed architecture of their products.

    iLaugh at the iDiots. :)

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Will require dialogue be re-dubbed. Obviously they can't say "open the p*d-bay doors since those p*ds are representative of technological devices. Oh and forget escape p*ds, they too would be technological, LOTFLMAO, these folks are just too much!

  64. Adair Silver badge

    United we stand...

    It's about time 'the world' told these trolls and chancers (however 'respectable' they may be), to FOAD, unless they can make a genuine case for loss of income or some other tangible loss.

  65. JaitcH

    Where's the problem?

    Any word in any dictionary on the date of a claim should fail automatically.

    This would protect words like Exxon, Taligent, Enron easily whilst Jobs can have his iPod but not prevent anyone else incorporating the word 'pod' into their products.

    The problem is unique to the American legal system and obviously requires updating.

    1. Tempest

      I like this. Bye, Bye Apple?

      Apple is a common usage word for a fruit that grows on a tree.

      Next Apple, the company, will be suing cider distillers, fruit orchard people AND living up to their competitors name of CRAB Apple!

  66. Evil Genius


    "Fresh as the moment when the /snip/ went pop

    Good job Microsoft didn't try that with 'Windows' That would have buggered up Play School.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How long before they try to claim the letter "i"?

  68. sleepy


    It was an utter disgrace that the USA gave Microsoft exclusive use of "Windows", "Office", "Word" etc. all perfectly good and long established words we were previously allowed to use how we liked. Monkey see, monkey do, so you can't blame Apple for trying. After all, if there's a chance the courts will let you own part of the language, why not; it's capitalism.

    Nevertheless, I hope they lose. Even better if MS lose "Word", "Office" and "Windows".

  69. Justin 9

    "Pod"uct Launch

    Does that mean that apple will eventually write a 873,000,000 page document on how thaey would like exclusive rights on every word on the english lanuage because they might actually use it in a "pod"uct launch at some point in the future.

  70. LaeMing

    Hmmm. Pod-racing.

    Apple lawyers meet LucasArts lawyers.

    May you mutually ahnialate.

  71. herman Silver badge

    No peas in their pods

    Well, clearly Apple would resent having anyone pea in their pods...

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pod People

    Don't forget the 1956 movie about the alien invaders that come from pods. Hey, maybe Steve is one of these?

  73. nigbose

    ho ho

    I quite like iphones, but i do think Mr jobs deserves a PODshot...

    Ducks and runs

  74. Ray Simard

    Thanks to @Greemble, and...

    ...I was just about to deliver a very swift kick to Mr. Jobs and all others guilty of this insanity, but my foot is sore and I cannot find a foot doctor since the Apple lawsuit forced them to change the name of their specialty.

    (Thanks to Greemble for reminding me of that brilliant Groucho Marx letter to WB.)

  75. Richard Wharram


    Somebody should consider delivering a swift boot to Steve's 'Pods'.

    Come on... where's the Evil Steve icon ? We've had years of this now.

  76. Tom 79

    Legal Documents

    They should limit legal documents to 1000 words or less. If you can't state your case in 1000 words or less, you're making shit up.

  77. Sceptic Tank Silver badge

    Save the trees!

    PODocarpus Elongatus is in trouble. They're going to outlaw the lot of us.

  78. Cheshire Cat

    They're not the first

    IBM trademarked the number 400 (as in AS/400) and Intel tried extremely hard to get exclusive rights to the number 386.

    Easyjet have a history of trying to own anything with 'Easy' in it, regardless of their current business. I think Apple want to own anything starting 'i'.

    I think companies need to take a step back and ask if the product in question has any liklihood at all of being associated with their company, and if there is any clear evidence that the product is being implied to be created by their company. If the answer is no, then any competent judge should throw it out. However in the US the judgements normally go to them as has the most money to hire lawyers....

  79. Bill P. Godfrey


    Shirley people have been calling things "podcasts" for long enough for it to be a generic term.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If I recall this would put them on a collision course with another avid trademark protector, George Lucas, as I seem to recall the racing things were called pods, pod racing, and there are games, models, and I expect electronic toys of some sort base don them.

    Now that would be a funny sight to see as I recon lucasarts has better trademark lawyers then Apple.

    I remember George sinking "Battle Droids" (later called battle tech) as it used the word "droids" and he owned it. Of course battletech is one of the most sued board games about (robotech/macross people and Lucas both took a bite out of it.)

  81. Anonymous Coward

    More Prior

    Someone tell Line 6

    Pod is a digital guitar effects pedal, been around for as long as I've been playing

  82. TeeCee Gold badge

    Evil genius wanted!

    Anyone care to knock together an army of giant, mutant leguminous vegetables and send 'em out on the rampage in Cupertino?

    Poetic justice, the best sort.

  83. Terry Ellis

    So much hate in this discussion

    Firstly to all the commenters stating this is an issue of copyright (OMG they trying to copyright the dictionary!!!) or 'patent' the word are clearly confused - this is an issue of trademark not of any other protected asset.

    Second it is perfrectly acceptatble to have a trademark for a word that is already in the dictionary, provided that you can make a case for it (as a commenter above noted, it hasn't stopped 'Windows' being afforded protection).

    Thirdly in order to enjoy the luxury of having a trademark it has to be defended else it might pass in to general language. That's why Google or Tivo are probably not happy that their trademarks have effectively become verbs - it then makes defense of your trademark much more difficult.

    Finally the comparison with POD shoes is a non-issue. The trademark can only be rigourously defended against other marks that might be considered competitors or are in the same market. If POD shoes suddenly made some kind of shoe based MP3 controller, that would be interesting. A relevant example is also the Apple computer versus Apple records dispute - in that case there was considerable debate about whether their activities overlapped or could be confused.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Completely missed that one...

    With ref to the quote way above about "Pad" and feminine hygeine products. So basically anyone that uses an iPad is a ...

    Unless your 'merkin, then you're just a...

    No offense meant at all, just lulz

  85. mittfh

    Just imagine...

    Back in the 1980s, there was a flurry of (short-lived) computer companies with fruity names. Imagine if Apple's lawyers had been around then...

    (Does a quick Google) - ooh, Apricot have been reincarnated!

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