The trademark battle centers on independent entrepreneur Daniel Kokin, founder of startup Sector Labs, and his video projector in development called Video Pod. Apple had previously filed oppositions against Kokin’s usage of “Pod,” alleging that it would cause customers to confuse it with Apple’s iPod products.
This trademark fight is nothing personal: Apple has historically filed oppositions against small tech-related businesses attempting to use “Pod” in their product names. Names that have come under fire include MyPodder, TightPod, PodShow, and even Podium. Sector Labs is the only company to go to trial with Apple over using the “Pod” branding.
Ana Christian, Kokin’s lawyer, says the fight is about more than allowing small businesses to use “Pod” in their product names. She noted a trend in the tech industry, in which large corporations have been attempting to assume ownership of ordinary words. For example, Facebook recently filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Teachbook over usage of the word “book.”
ARS Technica: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/09/apple-startup-go-to-trial-over-pod-trademark.ars