In the old days (2007), companies used to generate potential names for new products and features, test them against various Intellectual Property / trademark registers in various countries, filter out the “red light” names, check URL availability and pick whatever was left from a (usually very) short list.

After the launch of iPhone 4 today, I’m liking Apple’s new-name-generation approach.

Here’s the conversation:

Steve Jobs: You got that name for the Video calling app yet?

Apple Brand Dude: Yes, we have a choice between Apple Video Call, AVC, and KyhaXXL3

Steve Jobs: I like Facetime

Apple Brand Dude: But somebody already owns the trademark and the website. It’s a social networking security company.

Steve Jobs: Buy the trademark. All countries. Buy their URLs too.

Apple Brand Dude: What’s my budget?

Steve Jobs: $500,000. Or $400k and 10 new iPhone 4’s.

Apple Brand Dude: ok

Resulting in:

Remember Apple did a similar thing when the released the “iPhone” anyway. At least this time they made the deal before the release date.

I’m not sure what the Facebook IPR lawyers think about face confusion though. More to come.

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Naming, Organizational Behaviour, Web


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