Friday, August 13, 2010

Message to Apple - iTV is iTV is iTV

Today we see many battles over brands.

Apple the company whose brand has transformed mobile with their iRange yet was born out of a confision over Apple and the Beatles brand now appear to be sleepwalking into iTV and a clear passing confusion with the UK broadcaster ITV (Independent TV).

As Apple sets its sights on replaying its effort, with plans to upgrade and relaunch its Apple TV box set-top device which will be "iTV". If it happens and the brand is ‘iTV’ then it will clearly demonstrate its total disregard for anything other than its own ego. "iTV has a very strong brand, and a highly valued IP," Mike Large, acting Communications Director told Pocket-Lint. He went on to say that licensing the name, another option for the company if Apple decides to change the Apple TV's name to iTV, wouldn't be acceptable because it could "muddy the waters."

Apple TV replay depends heavily its commitment to build an ecosystem around it. Steve Jobs has referred to the company's work on Apple TV as "a hobby." Apple envisions iTV now becoming a cheap alternative to existing set-top boxes and video game consoles which is connected to the TV. The device will stream video content from the iTunes store and importantly run on the same operating system as the iPad and iPhone. This will obviously open up the opportunity for some of the applications to be ported to the set-top box.

Perhaps Jobs walks on water and has an ego but we hope that at least he respects brands and undertstands what ‘passing off’ laws are about.

1 comment:

Mike Perry said...

I can understand why Apple might play a bit of a bully with i-products that play on Apple names, hoping it will improve sales. The other iPhone, which was to use VoIP, appears to have been that way and apparently never went to market.

But ITV isn't ripping off Apple's name. They're ITV because they are Independent Television--television that's not part of the BBC. Their entire, legitimate identity lies in that fact. Apple has no right move into their trademarked space.

Apple's simply going to have to come up with another name for this one or face a legal battle they stand little chance of winning.