No, Apple isn’t trying to shut down every startup in the country, though that might be its goal for another day. They’re trying to trademark the word “startup” as it relates to, well, startups — at least, kind of.
“The application — first spotted by TM Watch — was filed by the company’s Cupertino headquarters alongside the Sydney branch of law firm Baker & Mckenzie,” Wired UK reports. “The application seeks to use the trademark in relation to retail store services; the maintenance, installation and repair of computer hardware and other devices; educational services, including classes, workshops and seminars, and the design and development of computer hardware and software.”
Depending on the scope of the trademark, it could mean small startup companies would start having to refer to themselves by other hip titles. Unfortunately, “junior workplace establishment” just doesn’t have the same effect.
Apple already sought a trademark for the word “startup” in China and the US in 2011. But, these applications are being contested, most likely by trendy startup CEOs who, ironically, could never survive without their iPhones, iPads and MacBook Pros.
One can only assume soon Apple is going to start seeking trademarks for random words and phrases: horseshoe, pot sticker, bean curd and anything else its lawyers can think of. While they’re at it, they might as well go ahead and trademark “random words and phrases.”
What happened to the good ol’ days Apple? Adding the letter “i” to the beginning of the word seemed to work flawlessly. Why can’t you just keep things easy? Oh yeah, because you’re a massive corporation that can do whatever it wants by manipulating users’ minds through expensive devices.
Someone should contact Apple CEO Tim Cook and tell him this is the worst idea ever to come from Silicon Valley. At least, the worst idea since Apple Maps.