Randolph Divisions Inc. ("RDI" of Hawaii) and HEARPOD Inc. ("HI" of Nevada) have filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Apple that includes Unfair Competition and Dilution. The Plaintiffs claim that Apple's "EarPods" brand name has harmed their company's trademark.
Randolph Divisions Trademark for "Hear Pod" was filed in 2005 and certified in November 2007. The actual application listed the trademark as two distinct words "Hear" and "Pod" as noted below.
The HearPod Branding is clearly noted for Hearing Aids
As you can see below, HEARPOD Inc.'s specimen to the US Patent and Trademark Office is clearly for hearing aids and not a music headset. Someone wanting a hearing aid wouldn't be looking for a music headset and vice versa.
HEARPOD Inc. claims to have spent $625,000 on advertising and promotion of their product with its unique trademark which produced $1.7 million in sales.
HEARPOD Inc. makes the claim that both their product and Apple Inc.'s are placed in the ear and are similar in nature. According to the filing "Defendant's actions in this complaint commenced after Plaintiff's Mark became 'famous' and cause dilution of the distinctive quality of the Plaintiff's Mark thereby causing damage to Plaintiff's and entitling Plaintiffs to injunctive and other relief as provided by law."
The trademark infringement case presented in today's report was filed in the Honolulu District Court. The Presiding Judge in this case is noted as being Judge Leslie Kobayashi.
Perhaps legally there's a case here, but who is ever going to be confused by the two trademarks, seriously? And Apple had the Registered Trademark for "iPod" in 2001. So I wonder if this company was influenced to use the word "Pod" because of the fame that Apple first brought to it. It's hard to believe that this case has a leg to stand on, though of course, everyone has the right to have their day in court.
If you see it differently, send in your comments below.
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