Neither does Intel
Apple which is famous for sending lawyers around claiming that Steve Jobs invented the 'I' has been told that the letter of the alphabet really is prior art.
The Australian trademarks tribunal has told Apple to go forth and multiply when it tried to stop a small company from trademarking the name DOPi for use on its laptop bags and cases for Apple products. Apple argued that the DOPi name, which is iPod spelt backwards, was too similar to its own proprietary MP3 player.
In the past Apple has relied on a stiff letter from its lawyers to stop any company using the letter I in a way that Steve Jobs does not like. However now it looks like that form of bullying will have to stop when the tribunal rejected Apple's claim that punters might be confused into thinking that they were buying an Apple product.
In the tribunal hearing, IP Australia, the government body that oversees trademark applications, said Apple overlooked the fact that there were already a large number of products that have the "i" prefix. They also operate in the same class of electronic goods as Apple.
Self confessed Apple fanboi, registrar Michael Kirov, decided that Apple failed to demonstrate that a "person of ordinary intelligence and memory" would automatically assume that just because a product carries the letter "i" it is an Apple product. A lawyer only has to prove that a person might have "cause to wonder" whether DOPi or iPod are made by Apple in order to mount a case.
Intellectual property lawyer Trevor Choy says this is possibly the first case in which IP Australia has said no on this issue.
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