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Love it or leave it: iCloud from Apple

Posted by admin on: June 10th, 2011

Apple recently unveilved it’s new cloud based services, called “iCloud.” According to the Apple website, “iCloud stores your music, photos, apps, calendars, documents, and more. And wirelessly pushes them to all your devices – automatically.”

iCloud had already been used by others. And several trademark registrations are owned by other parties featuring “iCloud.” [See Xcerion AB registration for ICLOUD here.] So the name choice appears to be a curious one. Of course, Apple likely has deals with one or more of the prior users of the term. [A filing was made at the USPTO this week to  change the attorney on the Xcerion registration to an Apple’s attorney.] Since the announcement last week, Apple has also now filed several new applications with the USPTO for ICLOUD.

Is “iCloud” a good brand name? I think it is too weak. While it is nice for overall branding that the iCloud name is arguably related to iPod, iPhone, iPad and other Apple brands, iCloud could be problematic. The “cloud” is a well known computer term. It is arguably generic of online computer services. Does adding “i” to the front of a generic word make it protectable? Maybe for Apple because of its other i____ brands. But the protection still could be weak.

I like the logo. It is simple but it is clean. And it is an app icon. As I have noted previously, app icons are playing a larger and larger role as trademarks. And Apple has already been at the forefront of protecting its app icons.

Overall, while the logo is nice, I think the iCloud name leaves too little to the imagination. It is arguably generic and could present problems (or at least costs) for Apple to control and/or enforce.

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2 Responses
  1. Reid Morris says:

    Clearly, the only other reasonable choice, “Cloudville,” is already owned by Zynga.

  2. In a suit filed yesterday in the US Disctrict Court in Arizona a company named iCloud Communications LLC has claimed trademark infringements against Apple over the use of the name iCloud..While Im no legal expert it does appear that Apple has some explaining to do. Specifically iCloud Communications is claiming that Apples heavy promotion of the iCloud product is damaging to its business and has all but removed the branding of the name from itself and placed it onto Apple..To make matters somewhat worse theres some accusation that Apples services are nearly identical to the ones being offered by iCloud Communciations ..The goods and services with which Apple intends to use the iCloud mark are identical to or closely related to the goods and services that have been offered by iCloud Communications under the iCloud Marks since its formation in 2005.