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More on Apple trade mark madness

A poster to MacSlash writes:

"Got an email from Google Adwords stating that the word "Mac" is prohibited from being placed in any Adword because of trademark infringement. As a small OS X software developer this is going to make it very hard for customers to find my OS X software considering my product is named "MacENC" and "Mac" and "GPS" are the primary ways I am found via Google Adwords."

Of course, this could just be Google covering itself, rather than something instigated by Apple. But given that Google doesn’t have any problems with any other trademarks (check any of its ads for details), it certainly makes me wonder
Combined with the apparent chase
of virtually every web site that includes the word "iPod" in its title,
this makes me wonder if Apple isn’t trying to get rid of every use of
its trade mark that’s not directy from it or licensed by it.
If Apple has decided that it’s no longer going to allow any use of its trade marks by third parties, then the future doesn’t look bright for any of the myriad of Mac sites and magazines around the world. Certainly, it’s an odd decision: most companies would kill for the kind of third-party attention that Apple gets.
Certainly there’s no legal need for Apple to do this. It could easily simply insist that anyone using the words "Mac" or "iPod" in product names, web sites or whatever credit it with owning the trademark: that’s what it does with magazines like MacUser and Macworld. There’s no dilution of trademark issue here.
What there is, though, is a control issue. And it’s sad to see a company like Apple fail to understand that an independent MacEcoSystem is important to the health of the platform.

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  • http://www.e-consultancy.com chris

    Google doesn’t proactively enforce this stuff – needs to be policed by the brand, so it has clearly been done on Apple’s say-so.



  • gahlord Dewald

    Google has recently settled out of court a very intensive name-use issue with GEICO. It is likely that the current Mac policy is related to this in some way.