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Apple Sued: Hearing Aid Hearpods vs. Earpods

The lawsuit war continues with Apple, this time it being on the receiving end of one. Last week the paperwork was filed that stated that Apple's new headphone dubbed "Earpods" is infringing on the product of Randolph Divisions and Hearpod Inc. and its trademark "Hearpods".  

The company manufactures hearing aids under the name Hearpods, which was trademarked back in February of 2005, removing any doubt of who came up with it first. The lawsuit complains: "Both Plaintiffs' Goods and Defendant's Goods are similar in nature in that, among other things, they are inserted into the ears of their users and are used to facilitate and enhance the transmission of sounds to the users."  

The company demands that Apple not only pay damages, but also cease the sale of its Earpods headphones. Hearpod Inc has spent $625,000 promoting its product since the patent was filed in Hawaii, results in $1.7 million in sales so far.  Earpods were introduced along with the iPhone 5, and is the first line of headphones that Apple have given a brand name. This is not even the first time Apple have received lawsuits concerning its headphones, with previous allegations of patent infringement of audio transfer techniques and another lawsuit complaining about the volume of its headphones, which led to a software limiter to be implemented.

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  • Spooderman
    Who really cares except the companies involved? Just a thought.
    Reply
  • house70
    Hearpods have a case here. Since a Galaxy Tab with a big SAMSUNG logo on it and entirely different screen ratio can be mistaken for an iPad (in some judge's opinion), it's much easier to hear "earpods" when actually saying "Hearpods" and viceversa. They should take their case to the same judge.
    Reply
  • royalcrown
    They shouldn't actually quit selling them, they are good earpods, I mean earphones, er headphones ? Just rename them to "iEarpods". Fixed
    Reply
  • pacomac
    This is just plain stupid. They both serve a different purpose, and are spelt differently. You can hardly accuse Apple of trading off this company since practically nobody has heard of them!
    Reply
  • rohitbaran
    So apple gets a dose of their own medicine. Hmm.
    Reply
  • royalcrown
    10632460 said:
    This is just plain stupid. They both serve a different purpose, and are spelt differently. You can hardly accuse Apple of trading off this company since practically nobody has heard of them!

    Yep. That and I don't plug mt headphones into my ipad in order to be able to hear what's going on around me. They might as well say all headphones are hearing aids then and sue everyone. I hope apple doesn't settle out of court on this and doesn't stop production, the most they should have to do is rename earpods and even that is generous.


    Reply
  • Jayson Morrow
    umm didnt apple patent "rounded corners"?????? so absurd patent and apple go hand in hand.... where its their patent or someone elses :)
    http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-ipad-design-patent-2012-11?op=1
    Reply
  • thecolorblue
    pacomacThis is just plain stupid. They both serve a different purpose, and are spelt differently. You can hardly accuse Apple of trading off this company since practically nobody has heard of them!FAIL

    In order to prove trademark infringement, the owner of the trademark must show that there is a “likelihood of confusion” between his or her trademark and the allegedly infringing mark. Over many years and many cases, the courts have set forth a list of eight to 13 elements that are relevant to this determination. The most important element of the likelihood of confusion analysis is a comparison of the appearance, pronunciation, meaning, and commercial impression of the respective marks. Obviously, if the marks are exactly the same in spelling and how they are pronounced, there is a greater chance of likelihood of confusion between the marks. It is important to note that slight misspellings or changes in an established mark will not enable a competitor to use his proposed mark. For example, a beverage manufacturer could not adopt the mark “Koka Kola,” because although this mark is spelled differently from the famous Coca-Cola mark, it is still pronounced the same.
    Reply
  • royalcrown
    10632666 said:
    pacomacThis is just plain stupid. They both serve a different purpose, and are spelt differently. You can hardly accuse Apple of trading off this company since practically nobody has heard of them!FAIL

    In order to prove trademark infringement, the owner of the trademark must show that there is a “likelihood of confusion” between his or her trademark and the allegedly infringing mark. Over many years and many cases, the courts have set forth a list of eight to 13 elements that are relevant to this determination. The most important element of the likelihood of confusion analysis is a comparison of the appearance, pronunciation, meaning, and commercial impression of the respective marks. Obviously, if the marks are exactly the same in spelling and how they are pronounced, there is a greater chance of likelihood of confusion between the marks. It is important to note that slight misspellings or changes in an established mark will not enable a competitor to use his proposed mark. For example, a beverage manufacturer could not adopt the mark “Koka Kola,” because although this mark is spelled differently from the famous Coca-Cola mark, it is still pronounced the same.

    True, but in actual real life, no one is going to walk into an apple store, or best buy, or go the the headphone section of Wal Mart because they need hearing aids. Hence, no REAL confusion to any appreciable degree.
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    What goes around come around...
    Reply