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Apple is taking action against more companies it believes are using the word "pod" unfairly.

The company behind two services - Podcastready and Mypodder - has received cease and desist letters ordering it to stop using the phrases which, lawyers claim, consumers could confuse with Apple products.

Infostructure Solutions and Podcast Ready Inc were trying to register the phrases themselves, which led Apple to take action. The services offer a way to organise content for putting on a player like an iPod.

Apple's lawyers, Townsend and Townsend and Crew, said in a letter to the company: "As you may be aware, Apple has used its IPOD mark since at least as early as October 2001. Since that time, the IPOD trademark has become famous. Moreover, the term POD has also been adopted and used extensively in the marketplace by consumers as an abbreviation to refer to Apple's IPOD player."

The letter continues: "While Apple, of course, has no general objection to proper use of the descriptive term "podcast" as part of a trademark for goods and services offered in the podcasting field, it cannot allow marks that go beyond this legitimate use and infringe on Apple's rights in POD and IPOD.

The lawyers ask Infostructure Solutions to withdraw its registration and restrict future use of the term. The company has until 5 October to respond to the legal letter. Wired's blog has the letter here.

Apple UK had no comment at press time.

Other words containing pod include: antipodean, cephalopod, chiropodist, monkeypod, podgy and uropod. Thanks to wordnavigator. ®

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