Wooden :apple: Watch charging stand suggestion

Discussion in 'Apple Watch Accessories' started by Tom G., Jun 5, 2015.

  1. Tom G. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

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    #1
    With all the wooden :apple: Watch charging stands being shown on the accessories threads I've not seen one made out of apple wood. Strange huh?

    I would have thought that someone would have had this obvious idea.
     
  2. mikezmac macrumors 6502a

    mikezmac

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  3. Tom G. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

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    #3
    True, but this is not Apple wood. I seen Aluminum, plastic (I have the Griffin stand in black plastic), Walnut, Oak, but not Apple wood for an :apple: Watch.
     
  4. fischersd, Jun 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015

    fischersd macrumors 68040

    fischersd

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    #4
    I don't think I've ever seen furniture made out of apple wood. Most apple trees are small and not great for lumber (the wood tends to be knotty / gnarled). It's most often used for smoking meat (mmm...apple-smoked pork chops!) :)

    Edit: Scratch that. I do see that they used to make furniture out of apple wood. The problem would be getting large quantities of it (if you're doing mass production, you're going to need a lot of wood). It's going to be a lot more expensive than more readily used lumber such as pine, maple, or even oak.

    I'm not sure enough people would be willing to pay a premium for an Apple Watch stand made out of Apple Wood. :)
     
  5. iConnected macrumors 6502a

    iConnected

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    #5
    So it turns out that apple wood is quite nice:

    http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/hardwoods/apple/

    I suspect the main reason wooden stand manufacturers haven't gone there is to avoid getting into bother with Apple over branding.

    eg "Apple wood stand" would almost certainly be viewed by Apple as passing off, legally speaking.
     
  6. fischersd macrumors 68040

    fischersd

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    #6
    Nope, not unless they put Apple™ or Apple® in the name (implying registered trademark and license fees being paid for said trademark, then they'd be ok doing so without paying licensing. Apple Computer does not OWN the word "Apple". Even then, I think you could - as long as you're not using the Apple logo in your marketing or packaging. (doing so does require royalty fees).

    Even the link you provided states that Apple Wood is rarely available in lumber form and only in small sizes. It would be considerably more expensive than other, more durable woods.
     
  7. iConnected macrumors 6502a

    iConnected

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    #7
    You are mistaken. Apple pretty much does own the word Apple in conjunction with anything directly or closely associated with ANY of their products.

    If a stand manufacturer called an Apple Watch stand, the "Apple wood stand" (for example), they would certainly have a case to answer.

    Trademarks exist to protect brands. Any potentially confusing name (from a consumer standpoint) within a class of product or service that is covered by a registered trademark and that effectively abuses that registered owner's trademark is open to legal challenge and consequences.

    You say "Apple Wood is rarely available in lumber form and only in small sizes": how big do you think a Watch stand should be, exactly? ;)
     
  8. fischersd macrumors 68040

    fischersd

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    #8
    You could say "An apple wood stand for Apple Watch™" and it should be fine.

    You can't use their logos or trademarks without permission/licensing, but they couldn't do anything for making an accessory out of apple wood and stating such. In this context, it isn't their trademark, but referencing their watch is.

    Apple wood is going to be more expensive than others....why pay a premium for something that people may not believe is worth a premium?
     
  9. iConnected macrumors 6502a

    iConnected

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    #9
    Context is everything (ie product name vs description). If the name of something creates realistic scope for consumers to mistakenly assume that it is made by Apple when it actually isn't, then there is an obvious case for arguing trademark infringement. And let's be honest, some people are very easily confused. Trademarks exist to protect brands from this.

    In this context, my example product name ("Apple wood stand") would be a problem. A completely different approach (eg name: Hardwood Watch Stand, description: made from American apple wood) wouldn't be problematic.

    I doubt that many accessory manufacturers would be keen to risk a potentially misleading use of the word "Apple" / "apple" in any product name. Much easier to use a different wood - walnut and cherry seem to be very popular :)

    Regarding price, when has paying a premium for a luxury product ever been a problem for Apple devotees? :)
     
  10. fischersd macrumors 68040

    fischersd

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    #10
    heh. Context IS everything, that's why not having the TM next to the apple when discussing the wood (as Apple isn't licensing the material) would be key.

    I'm not arguing they wouldn't be willing to pay a premium for a product. I'm arguing the number willing to pay a premium for apple wood vs oak is likely pretty small. (if stand A vs stand B are identical, except stand B is 30% more....) - as an example.
     
  11. iConnected macrumors 6502a

    iConnected

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    #11
    I'm afraid you're still mistaken there.

    Trademark infringement doesn't require use of a symbol for infringement to have taken place. The word is what's protected. Yes, proper reference to the trademarked word will (should) include certain uses of the symbol. But passing off and trademark infringement can be deemed to have taken place without any use of any symbol by the offending party.

    Trust me, I'm a registered trademark holder. :cool:
     
  12. fischersd macrumors 68040

    fischersd

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    #12
    And I've spend hundreds (maybe more? :( ) of hours in meetings with patent and trademark lawyers...

    Likely easiest would just be to merge and call it an "Applewood" stand to avoid any potential for confusion, though I still wouldn't see Apple as having a case otherwise. (and, as they're not in the stand business, I really doubt their Legal department would consider it worth their while).
     
  13. iConnected macrumors 6502a

    iConnected

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    #13
    You've unfortunately come away from those meetings with a fundamental misunderstanding.

    If I opened a coffee shop in NYC tomorrow and called it "Starbucks coffee shop" (without a TM or a reg TM symbol in sight), I can assure you that there would most definitely still be problems!

    And Apple isn't in the stand business? iPhone docks...? Wouldn't surprise me at all if they launched a Watch stand some time soon.
     
  14. fischersd macrumors 68040

    fischersd

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    #14
    No, I haven't, but I'm also not wasting any more effort arguing with you.
     
  15. iConnected macrumors 6502a

    iConnected

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    #15
    Tell you what - prove me wrong:

    Source a stand made from apple wood (a "docking station", which product category is covered by Apple's trademark applications). Then promote it for sale as the " 'Apple Wood Stand' for Apple Watch™ ".

    Then let us know how long it took for Apple's lawyers to get in touch.

    We're not a million miles apart here, but it is patently wrong to say that "not having the ™ next to the apple when discussing the wood (as Apple isn't licensing the material) would be key". Trademark infringement is so not contingent upon using the ™ or ® symbols in a product name when they don't belong to you. It is all about scope for confusion. If such scope exists (in the name of a product), the trademark owner wins. Hands down, every time.
     

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