Apple is well known for trying to trademark generic terms in an effort to push out competitors or at the least draw licensing money from companies and individuals wanting to use that phrasing. It did this before when it attempted to trademark the phrase app store and now it’s doing it again, with the term “startup.”
Of course Apple’s only involvement with startups for the past few years has revolved around the ones it bought up to harness their technology or prevent competitors doing the same. Despite that though, Apple’s startup application – spotted by TMwatch – if granted, would give it free reign to hold a monopoly on the phrase in retail stores, maintenance and repair of computer hardware, educational services, including classes and workshops and for any company involved in the design and development of computer hardware and software.
The trademark was filed in the Californian headquarters of the fruity firm and with its Australian legal firm, Baker and McKenzie. So far it is in the very early stages and has yet to be viewed by an IP examiner. Considering these things often sit in limbo for a couple of years, the outcome won’t be decided for some time, but it could have quite a big impact.
According to Wired’s breakdown, because of the Madrid Protocol, if a trademark is accepted in one participating country, it must be recognised in all others. As part of that scheme, Australia’s trademark system has worldwide weight to its outcomes – as much as any other country involved in the scheme.
KitGuru Says: The question at this point, is what is Apple hoping to use this for? Does it just want nobody to call new developments “startups” anymore? Or does it have something planned where it will use the phrase as some sort of marketing name? What do you guys think?