By now you all probably know what Earpods are. What you are most likely not familiar with, however, are Hearpods. The two names are very similar, yet are pretty different products. The first, Apple’s newly redesigned earbud headphones which premiered alongside the iPhone 5. The second, a brand of hearing aids created and sold by Randolph Divisions and Hearpod Inc. This confusion is precisely why Randolph Divisions is suing Apple for copyright infringement.
Randolph Divisions filed for a trademark of the name “Hearpods” way back in 2005, and has since been using the moniker to market its line of hearing aids. Apparently, the company has poured $625,000 into the promotion of the Hearpods product line, and made over $1.7 million in sales. Now, however, the guys behind the assistive hearing device are claiming that Apple’s new earbuds could hurt their company.
“Both Plaintiffs’ Goods and Defendant’s Goods are similar in nature in that, among other things, they are inserted into the ears of their users and are used to facilitate and enhance the transmission of sounds to the users.”
The confusion that could result from the similar name paired with the relating functionality is the reason why Randolph Divisions filed a lawsuit against Apple in a district court in Hawaii recently with the goal of getting Apple to stop selling Earpods and pay the Hearpods creator damages. There’s no word from Apple yet, but I’d say those goals are a little far-fetched. Apple most likely won’t stop selling Earpods, but I suppose it isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Randolph Divisions and Hearpod Inc. to get a little cash for their troubles.
But, honestly, “Earpods” and “Hearpods” are both such terrible names, I can’t believe anyone is fighting over them in the first place…