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 Appleis 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 todayis 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 TAis 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 groupis Web site.