back to article Dell files to trademark 'Podference' – presumably the mutant offspring of COVID-19 and a virtual conference?

In an interesting IP rights grab, Dell has filed to trademark the word "Podference". The applicant for the trademark was a chap named Sanjiv Sarwate whose LinkedIn profile says he's a senior legal director at Dell's Round Rock, Texas, HQ. The claim was filed on March 14 in America. The application describes a Podference in …

  1. 45RPM Silver badge

    Really, Dell?

    Is this by extension of Podcast? In which case, good luck to them. I mean, I can’t imagine any legal objections to such a filing - but, since Podcast ultimately derives from iPod, it’s almost as if Dell is trying to bask in the reflected glory of a brand which a) isn’t theirs anyway and which b) I can’t imagine will be around for much longer - it’s been a long time since the iPod was Apple’s golden child.

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      Re: Really, Dell?

      Yea, "...Downloadable written articles in the field of technology, business and digital transformation", caught my eye. Pretty much covers every academic article ever published in those fields, even ones originally published before the Internet that have since been scanned by their respective journals & put online.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Okay, let's sort the chaff

    a Podference is : "Downloadable or non-downloadable podcasts [..]; Downloadable or non-downloadable video recordings [..]; Downloadable or non-downloadable written articles"

    In other words, videos or documents that can or cannot be downloaded. That the subject is supposed to be technical is irrelevant.

    So, my question is : how can you trademark something based on stuff that is not only not yours, but pre-existing since practically the beginning of the Web ?

    I might as well push for a trademark on Monettference, where I blather on about any specific subject. Who cares ? It's a video, like the gazillion other videos that are out there. Each and every YouTube channel could push for <channel>ference and what would change ? Nothing.

    This is marketing at its finest. Requalify something that already exists for your own benefit. It costs nothing and changes nothing but might increase "brand awareness".

    Yes, I have an increased awareness of just how stupid Dell is now, mission accomplished.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Okay, let's sort the chaff

      It's a trademark, not a patent. It applies to the word itself, not to its (supposed) denotation. It doesn't matter whether what it (supposedly) describes is novel.

  3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge


    When I first saw it, I assumed it was Pod+Interference.

  4. Frumious Bandersnatch

    Isn't that the process of ...

    replacing Donald Sutherland with an alien double in Invasion of the Body Snatchers?

  5. RLWatkins

    Manipulating the language people use...

    ... in order to sell things to them is one of Apple Computer's tried-and-true stratagems. And hey, it worked for them.

    But "podference"? This is so lame that even the dimmest cult-follower would wince.

  6. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Why indeed?

    Why would Dell want to trademark "Podference"?

    Presumably because they're declaring war on the English language and good taste.

    Anyone sufficiently tone-deaf to use a horrible portmanteau like "podference" isn't worth listening to.

    (And as someone else already noted, appealing to the popularity of the iPod in 2020 is rather pathetic. What's next from Dell's crack marketing department? "Dell: The Pet Rock of computing!")

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      Dell: The Chia Pet of computing!

      Just don't water it, at least not while it's plugged in.

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