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Friday, January 19, 2007

The "Mac" Name Was Also Trademarked By Another Company

The "Mac" Name Was Also Trademarked By Another Company
Topic: Apple


Steve Jobs' trademark spat with Cisco over "iPhone" isn't the first time Jobs has brought a product to market with another company's trademark -- he did it with the Mac.

According to the biography of former Apple CEO John Sculley, Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple, Jobs launched the Mac in 1984 even though the "Mac" trademark belonged to another company.

"Knowing we would face trademark challenges over Steve's decision to launch Macintosh under its original codename, Al (Eisenstat, Apple's general counsel) had argued at full volume that Steve should pick another name for the computer," Sculley writes on page 208.

Sculley doesn't name the other company, but says: "Steve prevailed, but it ultimately cost us nearly $2 million in out-of-court settlements."

The other company appears to be Management and Computer Services Inc., a small Philadelphia software company.

In 1985, Apple settled a trademark infringement suit with MACS Inc. for an undisclosed sum, according to a Jan. 24 report from the Associated Press:

"Apple Computer Inc. will pay an undisclosed sum to Management and Computer Services Inc. to settle a trademark-infringement lawsuit, the companies said today. The software company sued Apple for using 'Mac' to describe items associated with its Macintosh personal computer. Management and Computer Services uses 'Macs' as a trademark."


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