British Broadcaster Warns Apple Not To Use iTV Name For Upcoming Television

British Broadcaster Warns Apple Not To Use iTV Name For Upcoming Television

After having its tablet banned in one Chinese city today for using the iPad name without permission, Apple could be about to enter into another dispute if it names its television set the “iTV.” Britain’s biggest commercial broadcaster ITV has warned Apple not to use its name for the second time.

Apple initially named its set-top box the iTV when it was first unveiled back in 2006, but its name was changed to “Apple TV” before release following a warning from ITV. It was reported that Apple was planning to change its name back to iTV, and ITV executives were believed to be “furious” over the idea.

Apple promised back in 2010, while Steve Jobs was at its helm, that the company would not use the iTV name, but The Telegraph reports that ITV is concerned that stance may change now that Apple has a new CEO:

However, insiders fear that the world’s biggest company might take a different stance under Tim Cook, who replaced Steve Jobs as chief executive shortly before Mr Jobs died in August last year.

As rumors surrounding Apple’s television continue to circulate, the iTV name is increasingly being used to label the device. But it seems the set may in fact launch under a different name.

  • Gerry Doire

    Call it AppleTV in the UK and call it iTV everywhere else, problem solved.

  • evileuropean

    ITV is not just the name of the channel but the name of the company that runs the channel among other things. 

  • ddevito

    iTube

  • Unis Zuurmond

    Case for iTV: It’s no longer a hobby, it’s a full blown product. Just like the Airport, which used a different name in Japan, the iTV can be called something else in the UK (regardless that the company is called that).

    Case against iTV: the fact that ITV (the broadcaster) has been around for so long, and active. Call the TV set something else completely, that breaks from the “TV” name. Unfortunately, iMedia is also taken, as is iPlayer. But there are other options too. iPod TV, for example. Or, iTheatre. Or …

    In the end, I do not expect it to be iTV, as they no longer have Steve’s overwhelming negotiation power to walk away untouched…

  • joewaylo

    They can’t use that. Unless they plan on putting tubes in the TV and going back to Analog giant TVs. Besides, it may already be trademarked by who owns ‘iTube’.

  • sQeez

    Its the same issue with UK all the time. Same with the the Irish Cider “Bulmers”

    Its called Bulmers all over the world except Uk its called “Magners”.

  • tjames_

    They have 2 options for the UK market: call it iTV and incur the wrath of ITV the broadcaster or rename it to something less catchy and less immediately obvious. That said, there were wide rumours of what the iPad would eventually be called (the iTablet etc) and clearly the less obvious name won. It may be the same here. 

  • Jordan Clay

    The “iLivingRoomSolution”

    The “iEntertainment”

    The “iBoobTube”

    The “i52JVA2513HD”

    Good thing I don’t work at Apple.

  • Joshua Entwistle

    Apple has enough cash to buy the whole iTV corporation just to get the name if they wanted :)

  • Neil_Jones

    Not true there is Magners and Bulmers in the UK. They are two different companies

  • Neil_Jones

    lol I would love to see ITVs lawyers vs Apples all powerful lawyers

  • Dan Sonne Pedersen

    Or Apple could just choose iVision :)

  • Fearless_fred

     They may have the $3bn cash, but they would have to go through a LOT of regulatory hoops as this is a public service broadcaster, so there are a lot o implications about plurality of opinion that would need to be considered. Plus you would need to get the approval of the major shareholders, including other broadcasters (Virgin Media and BSkyB both own chunks of ITV plc stock) along with pension schemes that hold stock as part of their protfolios.

    Bottom line, this blanket statement “Well Apple can just buy them” is never as easy as it sounds, an it’s even worse here. ITV is a brand outside the UK as well in that it is a provider of content to other TV stations (Downton Abbey is its’ most recent success, but it has been providing TV content *globally* for over 40 years under the identity of ITV (other notable shows it has provided include Inspector Morse and the spin-off Lewis, Pop Idol, The Prisoner, to name just a few).

    Face it, just because you think Apple are wonderful doesn’t mean that they should just get their own way when they want a trademark, especially when someone else has been actively using it for the past 50+ years.

  • baby_Twitty

    iTube anyone?

  • sir1jaguar

    Im APPLE fan since 1990 but never been an istupid…

    Dont defend APPLE IF THEY ARE STEALING, COPYING, BUYING OTHER TECHNOLOGY AND CALL IT THEIR OWN…

    STOP BEING PATHETIC…

  • ??nD ??os??A

    If itv (the company) was smart they would encourage Apple to use the name in exchange for some sort of prominent position in the “channel” lineup on the device and cash.  Does itv really think the future is in over-the-air broadcast? These people are clinging to a 60 year old business model that is about to go the way of the printed newspaper, printed book, CD, and DVD.  I bet there is not one exec at itv that is under age 50 or has any freaking clue what is about to happen to them. 
    Look at cable subscriptions in the US…down year over year while we still have population growth. 

    Ok, so one guy is at least under 50, and he is the VP of Strategy, Simon Pitts. http://www.itvplc.com/about/ma
    If Simon was smart he would be on a plane to SFO and make Apple pay AND become the most prominent content provider .  On the other hand, what is wrong with “AppleTV”? 

  • Len Williams

    iSee.

  • Mike Rathjen

    iTV is a crappy name anyway. It gets lost in the sea of three letter acronyms (TLAs).

    I’ve always liked the name “Cinema Display” for their monitors. Perhaps they could use a similar name. “Cinema TV” or something similar.

  • Mike Rathjen

    I would rather rub a cheese grater on my eyeballs than watch Downton Abbey.

  • sir1jaguar

    See, a rabid fanboy???

    Because theres problem with the iTV name and APPLE cannot use it, imorons will say – ITS A CRAPPY NAME ANYWAY…

    THATS HOW APPLE IS GREAT IN BRAINWASHING A HUMAN BEING…

    Many times I ask myself, where can i buy the hynotism APPLE have now…

  • Mike Rathjen

    The fact that I universally dislike three letter acronyms has nothing to do with the availability of trademarks to Apple in the UK.

    Perhaps you need one of these:
    http://zapatopi.net/afdb/

  • kpedraja

    Except it didn’t actually happen. ITV states categorically that they’ve done no such thing. 

  • thehighesttimes

    Unless this Apple TV is going to absolutely mind-blowing, and I mean something completely unique and Star-Trekky that will set the standard for home entertainment, I personally don’t see the point in them making one. There are already some amazing TVs available that’ll work perfectly with your Mac and iPhone etc… 

    Plus the whole ‘i’ thing is kinda obvious and tedious nowadays I think. If they are gonna release a TV, just this once I reckon they should break away from it and call it something completely unpredictable but elegant and Apple-like.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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