August 26, 2006
Trademarking: Apple of Our “i”
In the last few days, Apple has filed for a trademark for its Safari RSS, which leads me to a quick discussion on trademarking web images and names. The MacNN blog has a nice piece on this, as well as Apple’s recent files for patents on iPod stuff and on a "display actuator," which means a tool to manipulate displays on electronic gizmos (think iPod wheels).
I blogged about the latter a few days ago, and the Mac site gives us the lowdown not on the trademark of the movement but the device itself. The Safari post mentions “Design Search Codes,” or the trademarks of “figurative, non-textual elements” found on marks. Web shots are sent in with the application, which covers color and design…meaning that not just anyone can use a blue compass for an RSS or search icon and get away with it. This is interesting stuff indeed for those who want to know more about the guts of brand naming and what a naming company grapples with on a daily basis.
Reading about Apple’s trademark applications gets me thinking about Apple in general and the unique names and devices they seem to launch on the market almost monthly.
Wired mentions that The Woz (Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs' partner in the founding of Apple) has just written a book entitled iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It, news that was gleefully picked up on Digg.
I’ll order it for sure, but have to wonder at the title. A book entitled iCon: Steve Jobs was published as the official unauthorized biography of the man. He hated it so much he has had all books by its publisher, John Wiley & Sons, banned from Apple Stores. You have to wonder if the use of the word “Icon” in the title of Woz’s autobiography was intentional, especially since Steve Jobs refused the offer to write Woz’s foreword because he felt it made him look like "sort of a bad guy."
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