Strung Out: Apple Loses “Pod” Trademark Down Under to Guitar Co.



Apple lost its bid to trademark the word “pod” in Australia, due to an objection from a guitar company that also makes a product called “POD.”

Guitar accessories company Line 6 makes a line of  multi-effects processors, like the pocket version aimed at giving your guitar sound a boost sans amp pictured above, called POD.  Line 6 blocked Apple’s trademark claim, arguing it has a pre-existing trademark in the same category related to musical devices.

Although Line 6 has sold far fewer PODs than Apple’s range of iPod devices, the Australian Trade Marks Office hearing officer Iain Thompson declared that the POD device was still an established product.

“While the evidence does not show particularly strong sales [for Line 6’s POD], the marketplace is not particularly large and the participants in the musical industry are generally well informed about the products available to them to enable them to perform.”

Apple’s lawyers maintained the POD was “digital signal processing hardware,” and therefore did not qualify for the  “portable electronic devices” class of trademark. Thompson rejected the claim, arguing the iPod’s sound equalizer features used digital signal manipulation.

Apple was ordered to pay Line 6’s legal costs.

Via Smart Company

Image courtesy Line 6


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