Hola Folks!

This is a quite intriguing idea to protect a product. In ipods case, they use many other assemblies to construct the iPod itself.


They trademark it as a system and technology 'hybrid' and don't have to worry or attempt to protect the actually hardware technology itself.

Quite brilliant!

http://www.core77.com/reactor/12.05_ipod_trademark.asp

12/04/05 - Trademarks, Not Patents: The real competitive advantage of the Apple iPod

Trademarks, unlike patents or copyrights, never expire if used properly. Registered design elements that serve as a brand foundation are therefore indefinite forms of competitive advantage. Value transference, in a nutshell, is the premeditated use of multiple intellectual property regimes at specific points across the product lifecycle, in order to realize sustainable differentiation.

So how does all of this apply to Apple and the iPod? A quick teardown of my iPod [Exhibit 1 above] reveals that most all of the guts of this product are made by others: Toshiba, Sony, Portal Player, Samsung, Texas Instruments, Wolfson Microlectronics, Cypress Semiconductor, Synaptics and othersa veritable who's who in the high tech hardware industry.

These suppliers keep their technology ahead of the performance and cost curves, and Apple benefits.

Apple integrates these discrete components (through software intelligence) and packages them in the clean white-and-chrome "bathtub."
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              Jerry Decker - http://www.keelynet.com
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