Apple sues German firm over 'spod'

Spodradio looks forward to its day in court

Spodradio looks forward to its day in court

A German tech company has found itself on the receiving end of legal action by Apple over the word 'spod'.

The company behind iTunes has filed a preliminary action in a Hamburg court against Liquid Air Tab, the company behind Spodradio, a service which allows users to download podcasts to their Nokia mobiles.

Apple's suit concerns the rights to both 'Spodradio' and 'spod', which are used as dot-com URLs by Liquid Air Tab.

The injunction states that the company must stop marketing its services under the brand Spodradio, alleging the inclusion of the word 'pod' infringes Apple's trademark.

Liquid Air Tab said the case is "without merit", adding Apple may be bringing the suit in anticipation of an iTunes own radio service or because the company is threatened by the Spodradio service, which it says negates the need to use an iPod or iTunes to listen to podcasts.

Liquid Air Tab is now preparing to see Apple in court. In the meantime, the spod.com site has been taken down, while Apple has allowed the company to continue using its Spodradio homepage.

Tom Neumann, VP of Liquid Air Tab, said the company is thinking of filing a damages suit against Apple in the US.

He told silicon.com: "Our investors... don't find it at all funny that Apple has taken this action."

Apple declined to comment.