Written by: Adam Christianson
Categories: Cool Stuff, News
I just saw this post over on ArsTechnica and was a bit taken back. Seems like Josh Aas of the Mozilla group was out browsing for music and discovered the Wu-Tang album “Think Differently Music – Wu-Tang Meets the Indie Culture” and after buying a CD single noticed something familiar about the image of the full album featured on the back of the single (see image on right). Well it turns out this is not just a new album, but a whole new record label formed by members of Wu-Tang called Think Differently Music Group. There is no word yet on whether Apple has any connection to the project, but I would think it is highly unlikely. The article notes that Apple still owns the trademark on “Think Different” and that the Wu-Tang page has a ® next to “Think Differently Music Group”. I see some trouble brewing here. After all the hoopla from Apple Records over Apple and the iTunes Music Store, can you imagine what kind of trademark questions this is going to raise? The Wu-Tang lawyers may need to start sharpening their pencils and their tongues. That or the Wu-Tang should be getting their pens out and preparing to write some fat checks. If your interested the album is available on iTunes.
The Rolling Stones (est. 1962) were named for the title of a Muddy Waters’ song. In 1965, Bob Dylan had a big hit with “Like a Rolling Stone.” In 1967, Rolling Stone magazine was founded, but I could not easily find if it were named for one of more of the previous references.
I’m not aware of any money changing hands among any of the aforementioned parties.
My point is that just because the Wu-Tang Clan makes pretty overt references to Apple Computer that they need to fork over cash for the privilege. Apple ought to just be grateful for the free advertising.
Did Def Leppard pay Led Zeppelin for the similarity on its name? Of course not.
Oops! The first sentence of the fourth paragraph should read:
My point is that just because the Wu-Tang Clan makes pretty overt references to Apple Computer [b]shouldn’t mean[/b] that they need to fork over cash for the privilege.
Well well well,
Lets looks at this another way. If Apple does pursue the infringement wouldnâ€™t that mean they are in the category of music creation and not distribution, like they said in the fight against Apple Records? Well now who is in a pickle?
If an iPED was
for holding flower pots Apple would not have been able to do
anything to the PED iPod holder.
I don’t understand how this is just now hitting the headlines. This great album has been out for a while now, that logo is printed huge on the acutal cd itself as well as being on all the cover artwork. They also have had dvds with the same package design that came out long before this album. There is no intention on using an outdated apple logo to sell hip hop records. The wu tang W has a thousand times more street credit than a rainbow apple. If I thought the album was created by/for apple I wouldnt have even gave it a glance. The album is about taking unknown artists and collaborating with well known artists(wu tang), and making something totally new and “different”. I guess any dirty lawyer could take either side depending on the size of the check.
This story is now on digg.
This is really a non-issue. Trademarks are only issued for use on specific goods and services and must be in use to be re-registered.
Apple’s TMs (there are 2) on “Think Different” are clearly related to computer hardware and software. Read their TMs “goods or services”. They have nothing to do with producing or promoting music and in the greatest stretch only cover software that might be used in making the music’s audio files.
You’ll have to look it up because the US PTO doesn’t have persistent links to the database search results. http://www.uspto.gov/
“Think Differently Music Group” is obviously not related to computer hardware or software.
Now on a more interesting point. The TDMG are using the Circle R but it’s not coming up in a search of the US PTOs trademark database. That would technically not be according to the rules.
Also, when was the last time anyone saw “Think Different” on any computer or software? I wonder if Apple’s gotten an Excusable Nonuse exemption for the continued in use requirement for a Trademark.