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Apple in hot water with HTC over "touch" name?

updated 09:45 am EDT, Thu September 6, 2007

Apple May Face HTC Lawsuit

Apple could potentially deal with a lawsuit from cellphone maker HTC after naming its one of its latest music players the iPod touch, according to one trademark lawyer. While the name by itself is distinctive enough to potentially avoid a suit, the media player's similarity to the HTC Touch in its media playback, touchscreen, and Wi-Fi functions may be enough to warrant a trademark dispute. Though Apple had announced its iPhone with closer functionality months ahead of the HTC phone's June debut, the iPod touch has launched roughly three months after, potentially exposing Apple to claims of stealing its Taiwan rival's product name.

HTC chief Peter Chou has revealed that he is aware of the iPod touch and believes that the Apple device's name is a compliment to his company's own naming scheme, though he declined to either confirm or deny suggestions that HTC might pursue legal action to force a name change and avoid possible confusion.

"HTC Touch is a trademark, but I can't comment right now," Chou said.

If pursued, the trouble might represent the second conspicuous naming issue for Apple this year, the first being the company's high-profile spat with Cisco over its Linksys iPhone VoIP handset that ultimately resulted in Apple successfully negotiating the right to use the iPhone name without disrupting Cisco's own use.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. TheBum

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    cause confusion how?

    The last time I checked, "touch" was a word in the dictionary. So, the only part that needs to be distinctive is the other word in the trademark phrase. I don't know about anybody else, but when I pronounce "HTC", it doesn't sound anything like "iPod".

  1. wonderllama

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2007

    0

    Not Apple touch

    Exactly. It's not an "Apple touch"...it's an "Apple iPod touch". I'm not the least bit confused by it. However, the iMac/iPaq issue *did* seem like a deliberate effort since "iMac" was an invented word.

  1. jhorvatic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005

    0

    No, it's not even close

    No, it's not even close to the iPod Touch. Why? Look at the operating system, Winblows! The iPod touch uses OSX, a far better operating system to start with. It looks better and does everything better with a lot more class and ease of use. So they can claim what they want, but in the end they will lose!

  1. jasong

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Mar 2000

    0

    Who?

    Never heard of the HTC Touch.

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    you're kidding me

    HTC copied its ideas from the very popularized iPhone. Also, after iPhone is announced, many speculated that there will be an iPod that's iPhone without the phone, some have speculated that it'll be called the iPod touch.

    The HTCrap device was previously known as the Elf, renamed to touch only because they are coping the iPhone and the ideas generated by the iphone!

  1. madgunde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2002

    0

    Well...

    If HTC has a problem with Apple's use of the name iPod touch, then I suppose they could go after Maxtor for the OneTouch hard drive too.

    Not gonna happen, and if it does happen, it's not going to go anywhere. If they sue Apple, it will be for no other reason than publicity.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    OK

    So now we're not just reporting about lawsuits of the class action kind, patent infringement kind, and trademark dispute kind, but now we're reporting on the possibility of a lawsuit. And who's making the comment, the offending company? Nope, just some lawyer, probably looking for some cash somewhere.

  1. SubPop

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    ..lawyers

    And who's making the comment, the offending company? Nope, just some lawyer, probably looking for some cash somewhere.

    Hello Mr. CEO. Do you realize that a multi-billion dollar company has named an extremely successful device a name which includes a word which is the same as a word in the name as your flop? Do you want to make some cash?

    Reminds me of those commercials. "If you've ever made a device and named it Touch, you may be included in a class-action lawsuit. Call 1-800-GET-RICH for more information."

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007

    0

    a rose, by any other

    It's about the product name. Hey, if Apple can get huffy about the word Pod in someone else's product name, what the heck?

    Fair is fair.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    couple o' things

    Reminds me of those commercials. "If you've ever made a device and named it Touch, you may be included in a class-action lawsuit. Call 1-800-GET-RICH for more information."

    Let's be serious. I've never seen a commercial for a class action suit. Now, "If you've ever been involved in an accident...", "...ever been pregnant and you or your child is suffering from...". Those I've seen all the time.

    It's about the product name. Hey, if Apple can get huffy about the word Pod in someone else's product name, what the heck?

    Fair is fair.


    The airborne meat has a point. McDonald's will sue any eatery with "Mc" in their name. Apple's sued over the word 'pod' (to the point of arguing that 'podcast' might be a trademark). MS has sued on using the word Windows in names.

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