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Apple Doesn't Appreciate Toilet Humor 104

beaver1024 writes "I doubt if Apple lawyers even contemplated the irony as they slapped a small Australian company producing camping equipment with a lawsuit for trademark violations. Sea to Summit makes a product that assists in the disposal of human excrement, calling it iPood. Apple thinks that 'For obvious reasons, Apple's reputation for clean design and high-tech electronics will suffer should it be associated with latrines and the like through Sea to Summit's use of iPood.' If only Sea to Summit had the resources to fight this in court. Alas, we are witnessing yet another sign of the corrupted nature of IP laws in Australia and internationally."
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Apple Doesn't Appreciate Toilet Humor

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  • Apple... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @10:19AM (#32989674)

    You don't own all words that start with the letter "i". You don't even own all single syllable words that you add an "i" in front of.

  • Low hanging fruit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Reilaos ( 1544173 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @10:23AM (#32989718) Homepage

    I can't tell which company is more full of shit.

  • Re:bullPoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @10:34AM (#32989848)

    > What the hell is wrong with Apple not wanting its products associated with poo?

    Trademarks are only valid for a specified product category or line of business.

    See, for example, Canon EOS cameras and Volkswagen Eos cabriolet cars; there is no trademark case to answer as the product types are discrete and unambiguous.

    A good example of a trademark conflict would be Apple adopting the iOS product name when Cisco already held IOS as a trademark for an operating system, so the two companies came to an agreement. But if I developed an umbrella I could name it IOS with no legal qualms, other than for overly-litigious Californian companies.

  • by bk2204 ( 310841 ) <> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:03AM (#32990266) Homepage

    The thing that Apple doesn't seem to get is that trademarks are designed to prevent confusion among products in the same field. If the iPood played music or was electronic in any way, Apple might have a leg to stand on. But nobody is rationally going to think that a trowel can in any way be confused with a portable music player. Not only are the products in question completely different, but so are the respective companies' fields of endeavor. Confusion is not possible here.

  • They deserved it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Wiarumas ( 919682 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:09AM (#32990366)

    *Insert complaints about how businesses bully common folk and how copyright and IP are BS yada yada yada*.

    I agree, but the merciless side of me thinks they deserved it just for the fact of their lack of creativity. I am getting sick of all these things that come up with a product and just slap an i in front of it. Seriously, take another 15 minutes and brainstorm a bit longer.

  • Re:iPee Laws (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rHBa ( 976986 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:19AM (#32990528)
    IANAL but my understanding was that if you are in a totally different market (i.e electronics vs. outdoor equipment) that it was hard to prove trademark infringement.

    For example, I used to work for a small (<10 employees) English company called Typhoon that imported/distributed oriental cookware. We got sued by the makers of Typhoo Tea because our logo and name were too similar. Our company won primarily because the court decided that nobody would confuse a wok with a tea bag.

    Now who in their right mind would confuse... Ah!
  • by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:46AM (#32990920) Journal

    "I think therefore I am"

    Dear sir, your quotes "ithink" and "iam" are similar to Apple trademarks and are a violation...

  • Re:bullPoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SETIGuy ( 33768 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:02PM (#32991168) Homepage
    It doesn't matter whether it's desirable for Apple. Apple doesn't have legal grounds to stop them from using the iPood name. So Apple is stopping them using financial means.
  • by VisiX ( 765225 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:56PM (#32992020)
    They thought it was a funny name and it is, I doubt it was anything more than that. Didn't Apple already lose a lawsuit where they claimed they owned the idea of the small i in front of a word?
  • by VisiX ( 765225 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:01PM (#32992108)
    This is only true when the product you are fighting is related to the product that is trademarked (like Kleenex and other tissue brands). People already refer to all MP3 players as iPods anyway, so in my mind Apple already lost this fight. In any case, they are in danger of losing their trademark because a portable latrine exists with a similar but different name. Even if it was called iPod exactly they still shouldn't have a case because it does not play music or surf the web, it doesn't even appear to be a powered device.

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.