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Apple inks Ping trademark deal with golf gear maker

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Apple cleared the use of the word Ping with golf company PING before using the name for its new Web2.0 music look-up feature in iTunes.

PING’s parent company, Karsten Manufacturing Corp, released an opportunistic statement yesterday, after Apple boss Steve Jobs announced the arrival of Ping.

Apple inked a trademark agreement with PING because the golf vendor owns trademark rights on the word for social networking and other online services.

Financial terms of the deal between the two firms were kept secret, however.

Cupertino, arguably uncharacteristically, approached PING in advance of releasing its latest music service to head off any lawsuits.

In fact the various 'mark records over at the US patent and trademark office show some interesting and, dare we say, non-golf related activity around ownership of the word, with relevant filings posted in April this year by Karsten.

“Computer services, namely, providing search platforms to allow users to request content from and receive content to a mobile device or a computer; Providing user-defined generated content and content of others automatically selected and customised based on the known or estimated geographical location of a user; all of the foregoing marketed to consumers and consumer retailers,” reads one such filing dated 8 April.

Apple is of course well accustomed to trademark spats, and Jobs takes pleasure in reminding anyone that cares to listen that the “i” prefix really ought to belong only to Cupertino-derived goods.

Indeed, the iPhone maker took a few months to convince Fujitsu to legally transfer ownership of the iPad trademark to Apple.

But what Stevie wants, Stevie – more often than not – gets.

No wonder then, that PING has joined the love-in. Undoubtedly a tasty cash buffer would have helped that particular partnership hit a hole-in-one.

We at Vulture Central think its fair to say that UK-based Orange Ping (geddit?) won’t be throwing a sueball at Apple Ping anytime soon. Asda supermarket owns the trademark to that particular name.

Orange Ping, if you’re wondering, is a sugary confectionery that – apparently – has no desire to plug directly into your barely beating Web2.0 heart.

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