TigerDirect vs. Tiger – Score 1 to Apple

By way of follow up to my earlier post, the news comes that the District Court of Florida has sided with Apple in TigerDirect’s suit against the company for use of the name ‘Tiger’ to market the latest iteration of the Mac OS X operating system. Of particular interest is the following:

Apple also entered into evidence a survey that revealed only 6% of consumers associated the name “Tiger” with TigerDirect. Meanwhile, the survey of 517 people showed that only 4 people associated the name “Tiger” with a company — a result the Court found most interesting.

The article also notes that various other companies use the term ‘Tiger’ in either their name or for a product, and that whilst in this case both uses are computer-related, the scope for genuine confusion is not there. In any case, as I noted in my initial post, the timing of TigerDirect’s lawsuit can have done little to enhance its chances of success – as a vendor of Apple products (an iPod or two, as far as I can tell) and as a vendor of computing products, the idea that Apple’s ‘Tiger’ branding had only just come to their attention is obviously ridiculous.

Apple, of course, is no stranger to disputes over names. The ongoing clash with Apple Corp, the Beatles’ record company, will be fought out in an English court in just under a year’s time, the record company asserting that Apple Computer is encroaching on their line of business with iTMS etc. As The Register notes, by then, Apple will probably as good as own the music download business, likely having sold not far short of 2 billion songs.


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