Apple facing legal battle with ITV over iTV set-top box

The UK broadcaster has vowed to protect its brand amid strong rumours that Apple is to change the name of its set-top box device to iTV

UK broadcaster ITV has vowed to protect its brand amid strong rumours that Apple is to change the name of its Apple TV set-top box to iTV.

JobsCo is expected to change Apple TV back to its working title of iTV to retain consistency with its other iProducts. It's rumoured to be launching a new incarnation of the appliance this autumn.

Independent Television, which will celebrate its 55th year of service in September, isn't all that happy about Apple's attempt to (inadvertently) usurp its brand. Mike Large, group director at ITV, suggested the technology giant could face a legal challenge if the name change does occur.

Large told Pocket-Lint it had "vigorously defended" its brand in the past and would continue to do so, ruling out any plans to licence the name to Apple, which could "muddy the waters".

Presently, the rumours remain just that, so we're taking this with a handful of sodium chloride. But considering 'iTV' was Apple TV's original name and not using the preceding 'i' creates a gaping hole in Apple's branding, this is not unthinkable. Particularly when you remember Apple has tried to claim copyright on the letter 'i' in the past.

A similar, if slightly more pernickety, case of similar brands cropped up last week between Rupert Murdoch and Skype , in which it emerged that Sky could start a legal battle surrounding the VoIP service using the three letters of its own name. In the ITV/iTV case, the similarity is even greater. We joked about the precedent the Murdoch example could set if he were successful, but now it seems chillingly accurate.


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