When Steve Jobs announced the “iAd” program in April, a few people claimed they had seen that term somewhere else before. As CNET reports, Apple indeed settled a lawsuit in July over the “iAd” trademark with company innovate media, which had been using the “iAd” term since 2006 and was even granted two trademarks in 2008.
The interesting part is not the amount of the settlement (that we’ll likely never know), but rather the history behind the disclosure of this settlement. Consor, intellectual asset management company, posted a release on their website detailing how four of their clients managed to close favorable settlements over trademark lawsuits they had filed. In the release, they mentioned: “iAds, a 7-figure settlement from Apple Computer in a trademark infringement case.”
Then CNET reports:
Now here’s the odd part: Consor is now backpedaling from that release. Doug Bania, who oversees Consor’s business development and licensing units, at first told CNET that the announcement was never posted. When he was informed that the note was on the Web, he said some of the information “wasn’t accurate” and declined to say anything more. Apple representatives weren’t immediately available for comment.
In the body of the release the company wrote “Imagine [Innovate Media’s] surprise earlier this year when Steve Jobs announced Apple’s new advertising platform for the iPhone called “iAd.The comprehensive confusion analysis and quantification of economic damages performed by Consor were instrumental to Innovate Media reaching a highly favorable settlement with Apple.”
Anyway, we’ll never know the whole truth behind this. But Innovate Media must be really happy about picking a good name back in 2006.