Please don’t sue me: Pod

There I said it. I didn’t send a letter to Apple asking permission to use the word. I’m waiting for my cease and desist letter to arrive from Guido and Knuckles. Can I even push the envelope and put a small letter ‘i’ in front of it? What if I put some other word after P-O-D? Will Apple sue me or TAB for using the word without the complete consent and proper licensing paperwork? Thank you 1st Amendment, or is Apple going to sue the forefathers too?

Well, let’s look at it from all angles here. Since I want to have a Podwidget is that a double-whammy? Have I just confused the world now because my software for Dashboard (which happens to require an iPod to use) might be mistaken for an iPod? Being the creative type, I might kick around some other names for my do-dad. I have to in order to avoid living on the streets to pay my attorney fees.

When the iPod was introduced, no one would have associated pod with an MP3 player. Now that the little guy has become the king, there is no argument that the term is almost synonymous with music players. My anti-iPod former boss used an iRiver and screamed every time a customer would ask to look at his iPod.

Yet, for Apple to take on anyone using the word ‘Pod’ on the argument that it breeds consumer confusion is ridiculous. There may be a few humans out there who don’t understand seperation from a non-Apple branded podword to one Apple is in fact marketing. Apple Marketing makes it very clear who is the company behind it all. Sorry, I don’t buy it and it makes the company look bad every time a story pops up about Podding.

If anything has happened, it is that other manufacturers have a tough time creating a brand without a small ‘i’ or Pod in their name. Even if they escape the grip, too many consumers will still refer to the device as an iPod.

Interestingly Apple suffers from this predicament themselves, who use the term pod in only one product, the iPod line itself. iTunes uses Podcast, which if I remember was a grassroots effort Apple embraced and rocketed to popularity with the iTMS integration. That feat doesn’t give them the right to take it from the people and sue them for using the term. Apple you forget, without us podcasters that section of the store wouldn’t exist. The term Podcast itself is very likely not to exist!

Apple, and the lawyers on staff, please stop the nonsense. Pod is a good word to use that demonstrates extended functionality to the iPod. Podding only emphasises the brand even more, putting the masses in front of it for free. Perhaps, instead of pounding these fans into legal oblivion Apple should foster the usage of the term. It’s the people who are important to the iPod, not the branding or the other corporate business hoopla that can implode with stunts like these recent trademark lawsuits.