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Judge Denies TigerDirect's Request for Injunction

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  • by Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @09:52AM (#12528878)
    So you concede then, that Microsoft doesn't have a monopoly, because Linux is available for the PC. Fair enough.
  • This is dumb. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Entropius (188861) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @09:52AM (#12528879)
    The number of trademarkable things is increasing daily, as more people go into business making more products.

    The number of words in the English language, however, remains the same.

    Just a namespace collision isn't evidence of trademark infringement. That requires (or should require -- I gave up on learning the details of IP law once I realized that it made no sense) one company to choose their name specifically to leech off another successful name.

    Tigerdirect has been around since before Apple picked the name Tiger.

    Apple wouldn't want anything to be named after such a shitty company.

    So what's the deal?
  • by skingers6894 (816110) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @09:52AM (#12528880)
    IP rights? To the name "Tiger"?

    Right.

  • by dscho (819239) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @09:52AM (#12528881)
    How could a term like "Tiger" in any non-judicial sense (such as common sense) ever be accused of being an intellectual property?
  • I have mod points (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Saturday May 14, 2005 @09:57AM (#12528907)
    So where can I moderate Cowboyneals comments on this story?
  • by cowscows (103644) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @09:57AM (#12528908) Journal
    I generally think the editor's comments are annoying attempts by them to try and sound funnier and smarter than they really are.

    But this one at least made me smile. Lighten up. It's their website, not yours. They've been adding commentary like this for years, most of it's dumb, sure, but that's how the world works.
  • by LP_Tux (845172) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @10:00AM (#12528929) Homepage
    Will companies and products have to have numbers in place of names? After all just about everything is trademarked these days until you decide to invent words... Right now I'm off to buy a 5759852850 by 1284257630530. See you later...
  • Re:This is dumb. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, 2005 @10:03AM (#12528948)
    Tigerdirect obviously felt it had nothing to lose in trying. Even if they didn't get the injunction, they got some free publicity. Why else would they sue Apple only one day before Apple released "Tiger?"
  • by borgheron (172546) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @10:04AM (#12528953) Homepage Journal
    I never will.

    In a society run by lawyers, no one seems to get along.

    GJC
  • by mattdm (1931) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @10:14AM (#12529009) Homepage
    If it's news for nerds, keep this kind of commentary out of it please.

    *Man* do we need a "Haha you're new here" moderation for these kinda comments. This isn't a journalism site -- it's an entertainment and discussion site. I damn well *expect* there to be snide partisan commentary from the editors (a poorly-chosen job title, but oh well -- deal with it).
  • Funny (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zebra_X (13249) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @10:20AM (#12529042)
    If the tables were turned, I'm sure apple would do the same thing to tiger direct. Apple has quite a colorful litigeous history.
  • blah blah blah... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by east coast (590680) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @10:21AM (#12529044)
    From the blurb: "I heard that both people who still held respect for TigerDirect no longer do.

    From my dealing of people who put TigerDirect first on their lists I doubt that many of the TigerDirect customer base give a damn about either Apple or Geek politics. Let's not take ourselves too seriously here.
  • by tempshill (413165) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @10:22AM (#12529051)
    On trademark infringement, companies don't sue other companies to try to cash in. They do it because if they don't attempt to protect their trademark, courts will rule that it isn't a trademark anymore and isn't protectible. Aspirin, Zipper.

  • Yeah, and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by interactive_civilian (205158) <mamoru&gmail,com> on Saturday May 14, 2005 @10:26AM (#12529062) Homepage Journal
    Apple had long been calling the things that opened in their Operating Systems "Windows" long before Microsoft ventured away from the DOS prompt.

    What exactly is your point?

    AFAICT, Tiger Direct does not market an operating system under their name, and it seems quite obvious that Apple is not using the word "Direct" in any of their marketing or naming strategies.

    Again I ask, what exactly is your point?

    Trademarks only reach so far, and Tiger Direct's does not (rightly IMHO) reach far enough. Next thing you know, African tour operators will be trying to sue Apple over the name of their browser, the French will be trying to sue Apple over their chosen name for autoconfig, mathemeticians and philosophers the world over will be trying to sue Apple over the name of their (bought out) music software, auto makers will be suing them over the use of the term "dashboard", etc. etc. etc.

    Trademarks only go so far.

  • by PocketPick (798123) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @10:31AM (#12529083)
    Oh, I'm sure Apple wouldn't have a problem that.
  • by oberondarksoul (723118) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @10:42AM (#12529141) Homepage

    You asked for a dual-booting machine. Don't move the goalposts.

    In any case, it is not the same. When you buy a computer from Apple, you are getting just that - an Apple. Apple have the right to ship whatever they want with their own computers. If Microsoft made a PC, they'd be allowed to ship Windows with it no matter what.

    The problem is that other companies, building their own computers, are being forced to ship nothing but Windows - or they get no Windows at all. Now, if Apple forced other companies who made PPC board to ship the Mac OS, then maybe it would be similar.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, 2005 @11:14AM (#12529303)
    - IP rights? To the name "Windows"?

    Right. :-)
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @11:16AM (#12529314)
    I mean, when Apple came out with Jaguar, they weren't allowed to market it as Jaguar in Brittain because of Jaguar cars. Now that case had no basis and yet Jaguar cars got their way.

    In that case, it was probably more expedient for Apple to settle as the laws in other countries are different than US laws. Companies run into problems like this when selling overseas.

    TigerDirect has a pretty good case here. Apple is using a name they used before Apple in the same industry.

    It would different if Apple used "TigerDirect" for the code name of their OS but they used a common English word. For example, in the case of MS, US courts have ruled that you can't claim a common word (Windows) but you can claim distinct combinations of common words and letters (Windows 95, Windows Me). Also adding the company name also makes it distinct.

    Could I come out with an operating system called OS X? Apple doesn't have anything called OS X, but they do have a Mac OS X.

    Microware sued Apple over OS 9. It had a real-time OS on PowerPC embedded systems called OS-9. After a few years, a judge ruled that since both companies occuped different markets, it was unlikely that a consumer would be confused. In your case, if you wrote an OS for personal computers called OS X, I think Apple would have a case.

    this is one of those cases where Apple just didn't do their research.

    And you know that how? Again "Tiger" is a common word. TigerDirect does not own "Tiger" but combinations of "Tiger" and other words. There are 200 trademarks containing "Tiger" but no OS named "Tiger". I think they did their research.

  • Re:This is dumb. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cowscows (103644) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @11:42AM (#12529480) Journal
    Apple has done it before. They did it with Panther and Jaguar. When they first announced Tiger, they referred to it as Tiger, they had big banners that said Tiger, etc. If TigerDirect was truly taking this seriously as a real threat to their trademark value, they would've done enough research to find this out (it wouldn't have been hard). They were just looking for some easy money.
  • by cowscows (103644) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @12:56PM (#12529930) Journal
    Apple bought out the contracts that they had with the clone manufactures. They didn't just stop sending them copies of the MacOS and pretend like nothing happened.

    The whole Mac clones thing was a fiasco, and neither Apple nor the clones companies acted very well. I'm not going to apologize for anything Apple did.

    But I still think the magnitude of between those issues is notable. Apple killing the cloning just made Macs more expensive. Apple is a very small percentage of the computer market. MS dictated the course of over 90% of the market, and arguably held back the growth and variation in the "computer industry" in some very significant ways.
  • by micromuncher (171881) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @03:27PM (#12530800) Homepage
    Everyone that thinks they have a trademark whether it is registered or not believes that suing Apple is a good idea.

    Apple has a tendency to entertain the lawsuits, so every corporate lawyer thinks its a great make-work type project.

    Marketing types agree, because its free advertising.

    Even individuals, like Carl "Butthead Astronomer" Sagan love to sue Apple over the use of internal project code names, because suing Apple is both fun and profitable.

    Apple should have learned by now that using any word in the english language can result in a lawsuit, just like George Lucas has learned he can be sued by any writer thinking they own the notion of a hairy cute alien.

    Maybe Apple should start using H4xx0r for its project naming. Tiger could be T1gg3r, but then they'd probably be sued by Disney (who, btw, totally screwed the estate of Milne out of millions.)

  • by Reaperducer (871695) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @03:44PM (#12530914)
    It was the single largest theft of intellectual property the world has ever seen

    How is it theft? Sounds like the spoils of war.

    And don't forget -- this is Slashdot where it's not politically correct to say intellectual property can be stolen. Otherwise people might have to pay for their music.
  • In other news, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ebbomega (410207) on Saturday May 14, 2005 @05:34PM (#12531564) Journal
    Tigerdirect sues Spiderman, the city of Detroit and Rudyard Kipling for similar use of the word.

    I used Tigerdirect.ca once for buying a Rio Karma. Never again. About a month after buying my Karma (20G HD mp3 player) it broke (nothing against td). So I call Tigerdirect for warranty information.

    First of all, they changed their website so that it no longer advertised the 1 year warranty I saw when I purchased the player and changed it to 90 days (the same as the manufacturer's warranty), and disavowed any knowledge of this mythical 1 year warranty (one of the reasons I picked TD over others). They just tried to refer me back to the manufacturer.

    So finally I say fine, take the 1-800 phone number.

    Phone number doesn't work in Canada. The web page did say .ca, right? Turns out all that means is they converted their prices to Canadian Dollars. That no-duty thing they advertised? Hah. I had to pay a $130 C.O.D. on the player when it showed up at my door because they shipped from Pennsylvania.

    So yeah, the toll free number doesn't work.

    I call back Tigerdirect. Complain that the number they gave me doesn't work in Canada. So the buddy tells me that they'll get in touch with me about it.

    That was a year and a fucking half ago. I still never heard back. Ultimately, after a week of waiting, I went to Rio's site, and after extensive digging I finally found a number in Toronto I could call. So I call Rio directly, they honour the warranty and in two months (ugh) I have a refurbished player. That one lasted a year (never buy Rio hard drive players, they suck. There's a reason iPods are more expensive).

    Tigerdirect is a horrible company that is out there for the same reasons microsoft is: Make a cheap buck out of people who don't know any better.

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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