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iTUNES Trademark Registration - Words and Lyrics by APPLE Inc,

Tuesday May 31, 2011 at 6:12pm
The iTunes gift card blog, iTunesonsale.com.au, has been forced to rebrand after Apple threatened its founder with legal action for trademark infringement.

The site directs readers where they can buy discounted iTunes gift cards, allowing them to buy music, apps and other content from iTunes at significant discounts. It was accused by Apple of being an unauthorised seller and infringing the iTunes trademark registration, despite the fact that iTunesonsale.com.au didn’t physically offer vouchers for sale. Rowan Coe, the website’s Australian founder, said he does not sell the vouchers; he simply suggests where people can purchase the cards from and just republishes publically available information from shopping catalogues and websites and other Twitter followers.

Coe was warned that using the term “iTunes” in this manner was nevertheless a violation of Apple’s trademark registration and constituted trademark infringement. Anxious to avoid a legal confrontation with Apple, Coe quickly changed the blog’s name to the more general giftcardsonsale.com.au.

Coe said the website began as a response to music piracy, in an attempt to offer cheaper, legal downloads via the iTunes store. He said, “ I was a little bit intimidated…I did consider just closing it down. I don’t have any resources to fight something like this.” The Australian founder reasoned that he was simply driving revenue and customers to Apple. Yet, Apple’s lawyer refused to budge, stating that while “I do appreciate your enthusiasm in this endeavour”, Apple would not provide permission to use its trademarks. Coe concludes, “I expected some sort of issue eventually. I just thought that when it came they would realise my service is of benefit to everyone – consumers, retailers, artists and themselves!”

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