The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
1394 Trade Association Formally Licenses "FireWire" Brand Name From Apple

1394 Trade Association Formally Licenses "FireWire" Brand Name From Apple

by , 10:00 AM EDT, May 29th, 2002

The 1394 Trade Association (1394 TA) and Apple have formally announced that the trade group has licensed the "FireWire" name. The 1394 TA is a platform neutral body whose purpose is to promote the development and use of IEEE 1394, FireWire to most Mac users. The 1394 TA is comprised of the many patent holders and manufacturers involved in IEEE 1394. The EE Times reports that the licensing deal is a "no-fee" deal for the 1394 TA.

While Apple introduced the FireWire brand name several years ago, many on the Wintel side of the market used the singularly uninspiring official name of IEEE 1394. Sony markets its own version of the standard as i.LINK. This agreement between Apple and the 1394 TA means that the term "FireWire" will be used to brand more FireWire devices, even from Wintel-oriented manufacturers. This will, in turn, make Apple's products appear to be more mainstream to mainstream PC users.

During the last two years, we have seen more companies branding or co-branding their 1394 products with the FireWire name, but the 1394 TA will now be able to monitor and promote this trend. The press release from Apple:

The 1394 Trade Association (TA) and Apple® today announced that the FireWire® trademark, logo and symbol have been adopted as a brand identity for the IEEE 1394 connection standard in a no-fee license agreement between the TA and Apple. In addition, Apple has granted the TA the right to sub-license the FireWire Trademark for use on products, packaging and promotion of the standard.

With its high data-transfer speed and "hot plug-and-play" capability, FireWire is the interface of choice for today's digital video and audio devices, as well as external hard drives and other high-speed peripherals. FireWire has become the established industry standard for both consumers and professionals. Analysts predict that FireWire will be included on more than 64 million personal computers and nearly 100 million digital devices by the end of this year.*

Also included in the agreement, which was approved by the 1394 Trade Association Board of Directors, is a new version of the FireWire logo specifically designed for the TA's compliance program. Apple has granted the TA the exclusive right to sub-license the FireWire compliance logo to other vendors.

* Based on information from In-Stat/MDR

You can find more information on the 1394 Trade Association at the group's Web site.

The Mac Observer Spin:

This is a pretty big deal, at least behind the scenes. There has been very little uniformity in the marketing approach of FireWire, and let's face it, the "IEEE 1394" brand name is a dud. Only a Wintel company could possibly think that's "good enough." Assuming the 1394 TA can propagate the FireWire name throughout its member companies, this technology could be given a boost in the market place.

That will benefits Mac users if it results in more FireWire devices on the market. It also benefits less savvy computer users on both sides of the aisle who may be confused between the differences between 1394 and FireWire, of which there are in reality none.

It benefits Apple and the rest of the patent holders because of the royalty paid on each FireWire port sold around the world. That money is split up amongst the patent holders, of which Apple is one.

It also benefits anyone who has ever been pained to walk into a CompUSA and see the "1394" brand name being advertised by Wintel companies. Sometimes, even the aesthetics are important.

Recent Headlines - Updated November 26th

Tue,9:01 PM
BuzzFeed Uses Apple Watches to Incentivise Staff
8:14 PM
The SKEYE Nano Drone Quadcopter: $34.99
4:52 PM
Black Friday 2014: The Best iPhone Deals
4:34 PM
Best Buy Black Friday Deals Available This Minute
3:45 PM
OS X Yosemite: How to Reset Your Administrator Password
1:10 PM
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-11-25
11:56 AM
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham gets Black Friday Launch
10:21 AM
Susquehanna Raises AAPL Target to $135 on Strong iPhone 6 Demand
9:14 AM
Apple Highlights Continuity, Gaming in New iPhone 6 Ads
Mon,10:39 PM
TMO Giveaway for Arcsoft Simplicam Winner
8:30 PM
Three of Time’s Top Ten Gadgets are Apple’s, One Hasn’t Even Shipped
7:07 PM
Black Friday 2014: 4 Best iPad Deals
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!