August 4, 2006
Brand Naming: Der Zune vs. iPod
Microsoft’s imaginative strategy to trademark the Zune brand name. In a recent piece for Markenbusiness, Lawyer Karsten Prehm pointed out that Microsoft’s recent $500 mil investment in Zune, the supposed big contender v. iPod, 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 World Intellectual Property Organization (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 Endgadget recently told us that Apple has joined the Khronos Group, 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 iPhone, a crucial step forward for the iPod brand name.
The 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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