In an effort to protect its very well known iPod brand, Apple has begun sending out legal threats to companies that use the letters P, O and D together in any service or product. A company called Mach 5 Products is unfortunately on the receiving end of Apple's stick. Mach 5 Products makes basic products for arcades and its new device called the Profit Pod is raising concerns at Apple headquarters. According to Apple, "Profit Pod" significantly infringes on the iPod trademark and Apple claims that the name will confuse consumers.Dave and Carolee Ellison, the owners of Mach 5 Products say that Profit Pod has nothing to do with Apple or any of Apple's products. In fact, the Profit Pod is an infrared device that is integrated into arcade machines and allows operators to keep track of information such as how much money was inserted without having to open up the machine. Profit Pod can send the data to a notebook or hand held tracking device. Despite the glaring differences between a Profit Pod and an iPod, Apple sent the following letter to Mach 5 Products:
We believe there is confusing similarity between Apple's IPOD mark and the PROFIT POD mark. PROFIT POD is a POD-formative mark and incorporates a substantial portion of Apple's IPOD mark. The products are likewise related. Both devices receive and transmit data and are used with computers, both are used in connection with video games, and both have other similar components. Moreover, it has not gone unnoticed that, like Apple's IPOD device, the PROFIT POD product is a small, flat, round corned rectangular device with a display screen. In addition to the likelihood of confusion between the products, because Apple's mark is famous, it is entitled to protection from dilution attributable to the PROFIT POD mark.
The full legal letter Apple sent to Mach 5 Products can be read here.