HEARPOD sues Apple over ‘EarPods’ name

“Randolph Divisions Inc. (‘RDI’ of Hawaii) and HEARPOD Inc. (‘HI’ of Nevada) have filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Apple that includes Unfair Competition and Dilution. The Plaintiffs claim that Apple’s ‘EarPods’ brand name has harmed their company’s trademark,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple. “Randolph Divisions Trademark for ‘Hear Pod’ was filed in 2005 and certified in November 2007. The actual application listed the trademark as two distinct words ‘Hear’ and ‘Pod.'”

“HEARPOD Inc.’s specimen to the US Patent and Trademark Office is clearly for hearing aids and not a music headset. Someone wanting a hearing aid wouldn’t be looking for a music headset and vice versa,” Purcher writes. “The trademark infringement case presented in today’s report was filed in the Honolulu District Court. The Presiding Judge in this case is noted as being Judge Leslie Kobayashi.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Frivolous.


  1. So, “HEARPOD Inc.” did not get the idea for their name from “iPod”? Yes, they probably did. And did Apple get the idea for “EarPod” from “HEARPOD”?

    Yes, this is clearly “unfair competition” because Apple makes hearing aids… Actually, Apple makes products that may lead to the need for “hear pods” in the future. 🙂

    1. From the web:

      “Tom Hormby’s Orchard: A History of the iPod: 2000 to 2004”
      So, iPod existed well before Hear Pod. Sounds like they stole it from Apple.
      Apple should submit a lawsuit also in the same court. Then they can say that if they lose the first case, they can use it as president in their case and win it.

      Just a thought.

    1. I totally agree. Apple is denied mini as in iPad Mini yet the trademark group already allowed iPod mini, iPod nano, iPod touch, etc, etc. Yep no intelligence in Washington.

      Just a thought.

  2. That’s bullshit, the only reason they would have used “hear pod” to begin with is because of the iPod, so why doesn’t apple just claim damage of their iPod name and try to have their trademark pulled.

  3. If they can prove that it is infringement to use “part” of their name, manye Apple could use it as a precedent to sue them for the “pod” in Hearpod. Then, they would lose, and Apple could have EarPod back. Lol Irony.

  4. It’s quite amazing that Apple never sued THEM over their name- they went after virtually anyone who tried to use “pod” in their name. Certainly anyone selling any kind of electronic device. They should be careful what they wish for.

  5. Since the loser in such a case doesn’t pay this isn’t frivolous, it’s cheap advertising: Look at all the “free” press they’re getting (yes, lawyers aren’t free, but filing a suit like this is probably less than nationwide and international press coverage).

    1. Advertising doesn’t these days… but a news story spreads like fire…good or bad news, does far better than advertising. If HearPod wins, it also exemplifies and weakens Apples’ branding.

  6. There should seriously be somebody to overlook and approve of the legitimacy of a lawsuit before people make an ass of themselves and waste lawers, jurors, and judges time.

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