TomTom threatens TamTam developer

Mac-based GPS software developer beats the retreat

Route-planning software and GPS navigation hardware developer TomTom has successfully forced a small Mac software developer to stop offering code that allows users to maintain TomTom's Go device from a Macintosh.

Equinux shipped TamTam in 2004. Since the launch, TomTom has persistently tried to persuade the company to drop the TamTam name and to stop using the software's paired-footprint icon, which it presumably reckons is a little to close to its own paired-handprint logo. Oh, and it ought to stop mentioning the word 'tomtom' too, the GPS giant warned.

Finally, last month, TomTom threatened Equinux with legal action if it failed to comply with the larger firm's wishes.

Soon after, Equinux confirmed it will comply with TomTom's wishes - by dropping TamTam altogether. Equinux naturally portrays its move as a massive 'f**k you', pointing out that by removing TamTam from sale, it's effectively preventing TomTom from selling its product to Mac users.

That said, since the Dutch mapping company didn't feel that constituency large enough to warrant support in the first place, it's probably not too bothered. But it does seem to have missed the chance to work with a partner to expand its potential market.

But what next we wonder? Lawsuits against drummers? And Aussie biscuit baker Arnott's may find that its excellent chocolatey TimTams come under the scrutiny of TomTom's emboldened legal team. Where will it end? ®