Today, U.S.-based iTV entertainment issued a press release warning Apple to stop infringing its trademark “iTV,” which it has held since formation in 2001. The company uses the 2011 U.S. Patent No. 2011/0154394 A1 (illustration, right) as an example that Apple is already using the iTV trademark, if only internally. Apple describes its device as “an audio and video entertainment center.”
Laughably, Apple has not made any intentions to market “iTV” publicly, yet the contending company, headed by Chief Executive Patrick Hughes, is threatening Apple and plans to crash the iPad launch event tomorrow to hand out pamphlets.
The U.K.-based iTV made similar saber rattles, as well.
Analysts have said that Apple could use the “iTV” name in its product, but nothing remotely public from Apple has come out. In fact, there are many reasons why Apple probably will not ever use “iTV.”
When the Apple TV was announced (below), Steve Jobs said internally it was called “iTV,” but obviously there are enough trademark issues to keep Apple from going mainstream with the name—at least yet. From the patent report filed last year, it is clear that Apple is still calling it “iTV” internally.
The Globe and Mail said Apple was experimenting with voice and gestures; and The New York Post revealed last week that Apple was driving hard bargains with content providers over supplying Apple users with cable-type content by Christmas. Moreover, Apple TV cheerleader Gene Munster said Apple’s entry into the TV business would be the biggest thing to occur since the smartphone. Meanwhile, Samsung said it is not afraid of Apple’s overtures into TV, because consumers mostly care about picture quality.
We first revealed that Apple TVs were disappearing from store shelves last month and that a refresh was imminent.
The full iTV press release follows.