Apple argued that Whypod, an online music broadcasting service, both sounded and looked like the name of their own product iPod and turned to the Swedish Patent and Registration Office (Patent- och registreringsverket, PRV) for backup.
Apple’s lawyers were clear about wanting to get the Whypod brand off the market, saying that “the usage could mean a risk of freeloading, assassination or purging of the iPod brand”.
The Swedish company, based in Vänersborg in southern Sweden, claimed in its defence that the prominent part of their product name Whypod is the word “why”, while the word “pod” is a frequently used term for any portable device.
The patent office sided with Apple and decided to strip Whypod of its trademark protection, claiming the name was too similar to iPod. Not only could they be mistaken for each other, but the Swedish newcomer could possibly damage Apple’s brand.