the product naming blog

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August 4, 2006

Brand Naming: Der Zune vs. iPod

Microsoft’s imaginative strategy to trademark the Zune brand name. In a recent piece for , Lawyer Karsten Prehm pointed out that Microsoft’s recent $500 mil investment in Zune, the supposed big contender v. , has not been protected by a US trademark. Instead, the product name has been quietly registered in Germany. This allows Microsoft to apply for international protection of the name at the (WIPO) in Geneva.

When this is successful, Microsoft can have the trademark enforced in the USA dating from its German registration on July 7 of this year. It’s a nifty and streamlined way to get instant worldwide protection for this very American brand name.

Apple is also doing some interesting under the table dealing, it seems: the guys at recently told us that , a consortium of just about everyone who is anyone in the mobile communications and media market. It’s devoted to the creation of “open standard APIs to enable the authoring and playback of dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices,” which means that they’re probably that much closer to releasing the much-anticipated , a crucial step forward for the iPod brand name.

Khronos GroupThe guys at the Unofficial Apple Weblog, for their part, have picked up on Jeff Scoble’s recent hints that Apple is about to introduce a bunch of new products — could the iPhone be one of them? I remain skeptical.

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Posted by William Lozito at August 4, 2006 4:00 AM
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"iPhone" is already trademarked, at least in the US. I think Apple will have to come up with a different name.

Very sneaky of M$. I wonder what other names they have trademarked like zunephone or whatever.

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