Randolph Divisions makes the HearPod, a digital hearing aid. The company has owned the “HearPod” trademark since 2007, and it recently filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Apple in Hawaii District Court. Apparently “HearPod” and “EarPods” sound too much alike.
Apple also owns a trademark for its EarPods, but it doesn’t own the earpods.com or earpod.com domain names—Randolph Divisions happens to own the latter.
With the kind of cash Apple has in the bank, Randolph Divisions will likely be paid off to settle this lawsuit.
Apple has been dealt yet another blow by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office after receiving confirmation that its famous “rubber banding” patent, which plays a key role in the company’s fight against Samsung, is invalid. The “final” decision comes after the USPTO tentatively rejected all claims in the ‘381 patent back in October 2012.
The iPad mini is one of Apple’s biggest successes to date, but that doesn’t matter to the US Patent and Trademark Office, which has turned down Apple’s request for a trademark on the iPad mini because it is “merely descriptive.”
Apple is edging closer towards a settlement with Brazilian telecommunications firm IGB Eletronica over the “iPhone” trademark. IGB owns the brand Gradiente, which obtained the trademark in 2007 — the same year Apple announced its popular smartphone. The company has been keen to prevent Apple from using it, but it appears it’s now willing to reach a deal.
Apple may lose its right to use the iPhone name in Brazil, according to a report on Reuters today. The trademark has been given to Gradiente Eletronica SA, a Brazilian electronics maker who registered the name in 1998, well before Apple had an iPhone to even trademark. The decision is set to be made public on the 13th of this month.
Apple can still challenge the ruling in Brazilian courts once the announcement is made.
The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has today published Apple’s latest trademark certificate, which covers the “distinctive design & layout” of its iconic retail stores. The Cupertino company originally filed for the trademark back in May 2010, nine years after the first Apple store opened its doors in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
Apple and Amazon are set to enter settlement talks over Amazon’s use of the term “Appstore,” Bloomberg reports. Apple has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the retail giant, claiming that its Android software store could be confused with its own App Store for iOS. A U.S. Magistrate Judge has now ordered the pair to enter talks and try to settle the case ahead of the trial.
Apple isn’t the only one who can use the Lightning trademark.
Apple’s new Lightning connector is the perfect accompaniment to the Thunderbolt port, but the trademark hasn’t always been owned by the Cupertino company. In fact, it had to “partially” acquire it from motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson, which uses it to cover motorcycle parts, protective helmets, and turn signals.
Almost everything Apple creates is patented and trademarked in an effort to ensure that other companies can’t steal its ideas (though they do). However, sometimes the folks in Cupertino hit a stumbling block. That’s what happened when Apple attempted to trademark its Music app icon recently, only to find that Myspace got there first.