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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/6131/hypocritical-apple-trademark/

Hypocritical Apple (Trademark)

January 11, 2007 by

Hypocrisy in the area of IP is nothing new. The latest example: Apple denies that its use of “iPhone” infringes Cisco’s trademark in iPhone, calling the trademark suit “silly”. My view: unfortunately, Cisco is probably right that Apple will very likely lose if this goes to court. But note that Apple calls the claim silly (and also fought hard against trademark infringement-related claims by Apple Corps.)–the same Apple that is itself slapping podcasters and others with cease and desist letters, claiming, for example, that “the terms ‘Podcast Ready’ and ‘myPodder’ infringe Apple’s trademarks, and that they cause confusion among consumers. The company has been cracking down on use of the word ‘pod’ by all sorts of parties, even though its trademark is for the word ‘iPod.’” To paraphrase Judy Tenuta, “Suffer, Apple, Suffer!”

{ 3 comments }

ktibuk January 12, 2007 at 5:26 am

I can understand the debate on the copyrights and patents.

But trademark violations are textbook cases of fraud.

Stephan Kinsella January 12, 2007 at 8:10 am

Actually, this is not so. In textbook fraud, there is fraud, of a victim, by a defrauder.

In trademark, the plaintiff is the owner of the trademark. He is clearly not the party defrauded when the defendant uses his trademark to sell goods to a third party.

Moreover, to prove trademark infringement, one must prove use of another’s mark in a way that is likely to cause consumer confusion–not fraud. There is no fraud standard in trademark causes of action.

ktibuk January 15, 2007 at 9:44 am

Actually no.

The trademark owner is actually in the trade. He is a part of the exchange.

I want to buy a bottle of Coca Cola from Coca Cola Corp. When I buy a dark liquid in a Coke bottle that is my intent.

Clearly Coca Cola is ready to sell me the product, the price is announced, etc.

But someone gets in the middle poses as Coca Cola and cuts in the middle of the exchange, takes my money and doesnt give me the real stuff.

Since trade would benefit both Coca Cola and me, the getting in the middle of the trade and frauding the me hurts both Coca Cola and me.

So Coca Cola has an incentive to protect its future free exchanges. And a whole lot more incentive than the customer. Since Coca Cola is specialized in beverage trade, unlike its customer who trade on many different products.

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