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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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While Apple has been rumored for some time now to be working on a television set, essentially no concrete evidence of such a product has surfaced. But with Steve Jobs noting in his biography that he had "finally cracked" how to create the "simplest user interface you could imagine" for a television, rumors about the company's plans have been circulating widely.

As for what Apple would name such a product, some have suggested that Apple will transition the "Apple TV" name over to the new product, while others have believed that "iTV" would be the company's preferred name even though it raises potential trademark and branding issues with other entities such as the UK's ITV network. Notably, Apple first offered a sneak peek of its own iTV product back in late 2006, opting to rename it as the Apple TV before it launched in early 2007.

itv_sneak_peek.jpg
Slide from Apple's September 2006 "sneak peek" of iTV, which became Apple TV before launch
But while the British television network is the highest-profile roadblock to any effort by Apple to gain the rights to the iTV, there are others who hold intellectual property rights related to the name, and one in particular is concerned that Apple might be making an end run to usurp the term.

Patrick Hughes, president and CEO of iTV Entertainment, LLC, will be taking his case public tomorrow in an attempt to spur Apple into discussion of the trademark with warnings of legal and/or regulatory action if Apple should introduce a product under the "iTV" name. While Hughes does not hold a trademark on the "iTV" name itself, he does hold one on "iTV Entertainment". From a press release set to be published tomorrow:
iTV Entertainment, LLC announced today that its counsel, Bart S. Fisher, had sent a letter to Apple, Inc. board director, Al Gore, suggesting that a meeting be held "to see if an amicable and fair transaction arrangement" could be made between the parties with regard to Apple's use of the "iTV" mark displayed throughout their U.S. Patent No. 2011/0154394 A1 for a product that is rumored to be in development by and being planned for a possible launch in 2012. Apple describes its device as being "an audio and video entertainment center".

"The Apple iTV entertainment center device would cause a great amount of confusion with iTV Entertainment customers", according to iTV Entertainment LLC Chief Executive, Patrick Hughes. Hughes also said that Apple CEO Tim Cook and general counsel Bruce Sewell have been notified as well as another board member Andrea Jung, that should "the iTV rights issue" not be resolved, then we would have no other choice but to "bring to the International Trade Commission (ITC) [our trademark infringement complaint] that could result in an exclusion order being issued against Apple under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930."
Hughes notes that iTV Entertainment has been using its U.S.-registered trademark since 2001 and that it made sure in August 2010 that Apple was aware of the trademark should it have been interested in launching its revamped Apple TV set-top box as the iTV. Hughes tells MacRumors that Apple did not express any interest in acquiring his iTV Entertainment trademark at that time.

Hughes points to increasing chatter from analysts and other sources referring to Apple's rumored television set as the "iTV", but relies most heavily on Apple's own use of the term in patent applications as evidence of the company's intent to use the name. Apple's use of the term in patent applications actually extends back a number of years, with the 2011 patent application cited by Hughes in his press release actually being a continuation of a patent application filed for the original iTV set-top box software on the same day it was previewed in September 2006.

itv_patent_figure.jpg
Figure from Apple's September 2006 "iTV" patent application
With excitement about a potential Apple "iTV" growing, Hughes clearly senses that the time is ripe to sell the trademark rights, and he undoubtedly would like to have Apple's checkbook at the table before any deal is made. He notes that Chinese company Hisense has introduced its own I'TV tablet television, with the company potentially interested in acquiring the iTV Entertainment trademark from Hughes' company.

Noting that "time is running short for Apple" and that it "would be a shame" for Apple and its consumers if the trademark ended up in Hisense's hands, Hughes is clearly trying to bait Apple into entering the bidding to secure the rights to the trademark.

Apple has yet to respond to Hughes' latest notices regarding the iTV Entertainment trademark.

Article Link: 'iTV Entertainment' Trademark Holder Seeking to Rouse Apple's Attention with Warnings over Unreleased TV Set
 

ironsienna

macrumors regular
Oct 28, 2010
215
0
They just show us how useless opportunistic bureaucrats they are… Disgusting… And this goes to both sides...
 

dynamojoe

macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2011
164
318
Miami, FL
It looks like a very public sales pitch for a name that Apple doesn't want to buy. Kinda desparate, too. It's very hard to play good cop and bad cop in the same letter ("buy it from us or we'll sue you and/or sell it to the Chinese, wouldn't that be a shame")
 

Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
6,284
3,024
I'm sure none of these companies would be raising a stink about it if they had a piece of Apple's $100 billion cash reserve.
 

kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,181
115
They won't call it iTV. Not because of this guy, but because of ITV in the UK.

I think it's time for Apple to stop using 'i' in front of any brand new products, such as their television set, or a completely revamped iTunes media centre. The 'i' is just overused: iOS, iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie, iWork, iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac, iMessage to name a few. They've transitioned iCal to Calendar in Mountain Lion, so maybe they are giving up using the 'i'.
 

skorpien

macrumors 68020
Jan 14, 2008
2,339
0
I really hope they go with a name other than iTV and leave these leaches with nothing.
 

JAT

macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2001
6,473
124
Mpls, MN
I can't decide. Is it more annoying when they wait to see if the "offending product" makes money, or this attempt for publicity just on the off chance that a big company might encroach on some rights?
 

Lesser Evets

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2006
3,521
1,283
Sheesh! I went to the store and bought an iTV. Only, when I got home and unwrapped it I found out I purchased a huge television corporation! ... and they won't refund my $99. Jip.
 

mdriftmeyer

macrumors 68040
Feb 2, 2004
3,391
1,123
Pacific Northwest
If you cannot generate press about your own products, by all means project a conflict of future interests that will never come to fruition--they assume the average person truly is slow in the head. Marketing 101.
 

applesith

macrumors 68030
Jun 11, 2007
2,686
1,254
Manhattan
Hey Patrick Hughes, I'm pretty sure Tim et al know you have the iTV trademark. You can sit back down now. Thanks.
 

Bheleu

macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2010
349
1
Oak forget TV! This is Apple...

Would love it if Apple gave it an esoteric name. Oak, Maple, etc. forget calling it TV, Television, etc.

Its just fun saying you are going to the Apple Store and buy an Oak for the living room. Going over to a friends house to watch the Super Bowl on an Oak at better than HD quality.

Could even call it the iWall or iWallE, "I Wall Entertainment" if it must use an iOS name.
 

Revelation78

macrumors 68000
Dec 18, 2008
1,508
11
North Carolina
Too bad this company will be on a lesser negotiating foot with the Chinese company after this stunt and after Apple releases their product under a different name.

Why not cTV for "Cloud TV?"

Or.... iCTV for iCloud TV....


I personally hope they keep the name AppleTV or some derivative if they release a televistion set.
 

saving107

macrumors 603
Oct 14, 2007
6,382
23
San Jose, Ca
Sheesh! I went to the store and bought an iTV. Only, when I got home and unwrapped it I found out I purchased a huge television corporation! ... and they won't refund my $99. Jip.

I know right, its so annoying when you accidentally buy an entire corporation and then the company refuses to honor the refund because you can't find the receipt and you have too many returns on your Driver License, or at best only offer you lowest amount possible (which is like 2/3 of what you paid originally).

They can always call it iTelly in the UK.

I like the way this guy thinks

...for a product that is rumored to be in development by and being planned for a possible launch in 2012. Apple describes its device as being "an audio and video entertainment center".

Um, Apple doesn't even acknowledge that said product exist.
 
Last edited:

al256

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2001
879
447
What is it with those people across the pond??? Any remember the decades long ordeal from Apple Corps?

Sosumi.
 

topmounter

macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2009
2,391
605
FEMA Region VIII
Too bad this company will be on a lesser negotiating foot with the Chinese company after this stunt and after Apple releases their product under a different name.

Why not cTV for "Cloud TV?"

Or.... iCTV for iCloud TV....


I personally hope they keep the name AppleTV or some derivative if they release a televistion set.

ActiveVideo Networks already owns and has used ICTV (pre re-branding a few years ago)... but I bet they'd be willing to sell it if "The Price is Right". Of course that doesn't change the fact that it would be a dumb name for Apple to use.

ITV is a loaded acronym / name on several levels and Apple would be nuts to use it. Using some variation on the "Apple TV" name makes the most sense IMHO.
 
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