Now That Apple Has A Trademark On 'There's An App For That,' Will It Sue Sesame Street?

from the steve-jobs-v.-big-bird dept

You may recall that, last year, Apple got quite upset at Verizon Wireless for running commercials that parodied Apple's "there's an app for that" tagline, with "there's a map for that," which tried to highlight the better coverage found on Verizon Wireless' network. Well, last month, Apple was officially awarded the trademark for "there's an app for that," so now we can wait to see who Steve Jobs decides to sue.

Personally, I think he should go after Sesame Street. CNET points out that Sesame Street just did a video mocking the "there's an app for that," tagline which they used in a song about the "iPogo" device. Considering Apple's aggressive nature when it comes to trademark issues, you can see how it might not be happy with the iPogo/There's an App for That sketch, but even Steve Jobs wouldn't stoop to suing Big Bird, would he? Or, maybe there's an app for that kind of lawsuit, too...


Reader Comments (rss)

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 8:06am

    sesame street is getting edgy

    I love these new edgy sesame street videos.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 8:09am

    how many trademarks can you have.......and how broad. I guess that's what you get when the PT office is staffed by folks who apply for government jobs.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 8:10am

    Is there an app to protect us from frivolous lawsuits?

     

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    cseiter (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 8:10am

    Old Spice

    Look at me, now look at you, and back to me. I am a Monster...

     

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      Free Capitalist (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 8:29am

      Nice Irony...

      Wikipedia link for this theory removed for "unambiguous copyright infringement" of a site for a jewler....

      Got to go before my head explodes.

       

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 8:38am

    Trademark Monster?

    T is for trademark, that's good enough for me,
    Oh, T is for trademark, Apple's coming after me....

     

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    redwall_hp (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 8:54am

    There's one thing you're missing: Apple didn't like the Verizon ads because they're a competitor of sorts and they were kind of attacking Apple with their parody.

    The Sesame Street video is a straight parody, and should be protected by Fair Use provisions.

     

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    Ryan Diederich, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 9:17am

    It should be okay...

    It shouldnt be a problem for Verizon to air that commercial. That the wording is similar isn't good enough a cause to have it yanked from the airwaves.

    Should the people who wrote "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" sue the people who wrote The ABCs or Baa Baa Black Sheep because they have the same beat?

    How about the billions of items that donned the "I" before whatever it was, the I(whatever)s out there. Why isn't Apple suing these people? It is the same thing.

    A company taking advantage of a saturated jingle or phrase is nothing new.

     

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    mjb5406 (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 9:27am

    Apple Overreach

    First, if the trademark is for the phrase "there's an app for that", any variation isn't covered, so "there's a map for that" is probably safe. Sesame Street is parody, so is covered by fair use.

    "There's an app for that" consists of 5 common words strung together in a particular way; if I say "There is an application for that", there is no infringement, just like "I found an app for that". Likewise, I doubt if you can get sued for "Google has an app for that"... it would be different if Apple trademarked "an app for that", which would ostensibly cover the variations.

    Did they trademark "Think Different"?

     

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    tubes (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 9:31am

    Jobs probably wouldn't sue Sesame Street since he would be suing himself. After Jim Henson died he left his legacy to Disney & Jobs is the largest shareholder of Disney. As much of an asshole Jobs is I seriously doubt he will sue Sesame Street.

     

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 11:27am

      Re:

      He'll sue if he wants to prove to the world that Apple is the new, and not so improved, Microsoft.

      Might just as well as he's wrestled the other's Steve's crown away from him everywhere else except the chair throwing gold medal. ;-)

       

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    iplawyer (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 12:00pm

    Trademark Rights

    Apple owns two pending applications for the mark THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT for a variety of goods and services. The mark is not yet registered; however, that doesn't matter. What matters is that Apple uses the mark in commerce and, as a result of that use, has rights therein dating back to when the use commenced. Securing a registration(s) for the mark gives Apple additional rights, but it doesn't need a registration (at least in the U.S.) to go after someone it believes is infringing those rights.

    It isn't going after Sesame Street for a number of reasons, including that Sesame Street is not using the tagline/phrase as a trademark for any good or service. And, even if it were, it would be difficult for Apple to demonstrate that the relevant consumers are confused as to the source of the products/services; similarly, it is unlikely that anyone believes that Apple and Sesame Street are affiliated (or that there is some kind of sponsorship or licensing deal between them).

    (Disclaimer - this is not intended to be legal advice, just my observations based on the few facts out there.)

     

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    Jacky, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 12:07pm

    Hmm...

    Doesn't Steve Jobs like Cartoon Characters, or like something similar to "Sesame Street"? If he sues Sesame Street for that, then he better hate Winnie the Pooh.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 1:54pm

    Why would Apple even want to take any legal action against Sesame Street over this? Seems more like free advertising for Apple.

     

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    yogi2200, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 4:53pm

    Apple Commercial

    This looks like more of an Apple commercial than a parody. It wouldn't surprise me if Apple paid for this, their logos are already plastered all over movies and tv shows, most recently The Big Bang Theory, so why would advertising to kids be above them?

     

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    BruceLD, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 5:51pm

    Subject

    I wonder if there's an app to find Steve Jobs a new liver should his present donated liver fail.

     

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    kellythedog (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 9:37pm

    brought to you by the letter I

    how long till Apple trademarks "I-"
    And the whole alphabet looses a letter.

     

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