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Just a Thought - Confused Over Tiger & Tiger Direct? So Am I

by

- April 28th, 2005

Oh Gawd! Feel their pain!

Tiger Direct is suing Apple over its use of the name 'Tiger', which Apple has code-named its next OS X release (see TMO's full coverage for more information).

The suit alleges that Apple Computer engaged in trademark infringement and unfair trade practices in connection with its recent marketing campaign for the latest version of its "Mac OS X" operating system -- which Apple has named "Tiger."

As a result of the possible confusion between the products now being marketed by Apple under the "Tiger" brand, Tiger Direct has asked for a temporary restraining order and injunction against Apple Computer to stop further damage to Tiger Direct's well-known Tiger brand.

Let me see: Tiger Direct, OS X, Code name: Tiger..., uh-huh, yeah, I'm feeling it. I can see where there might be confusion.

See, Tiger Direct sells PCs, PC parts, and PC accessories; Apple will be selling an operating system that runs on a Mac, which has an official name of OS X version 10.4, but has been code named 'Tiger'. Feel your uncertainty rising?

Tiger Direct is based in Florida, Apple is based in California; these two states have often been confused since they both have coastlines and the letter 'A' in their names.

While it is true that Tiger Direct is not the name of an operating system, it is the name of a company the sells operating systems; not Apple operating systems, but it is easy to see how a layman computer buyer might be stupefied into not making a purchase from Tiger Direct because he is immobilized by the glaring similarity between Tiger Direct and OS X: Tiger. I know I would have to study the situation long and hard before considering a purchase from a company with the same name as Apple's new OS.

And if you are a Mac user considering a purchase from Tiger Direct, you must be pulling your hair out by now, wondering if you are buying OS X, or a Linksys switch. And how would you sign the check for your order? Do you make it out to OS X: Tiger Direct? Maybe Apple Tiger Direct OS X! Or is it 'Tiger Direct: Apple Direct: OS X: Tiger'. Maybe you split the difference and send a check to Florida and California.

Wait; aren't they the same state?

See? Makes you want to shoot yourself, huh?

You've just got to be feeling Tiger Direct's pain; all of that business it'll be losing because Apple didn't want to use 'Mongrel Kitty' as the code-name for its new OS.

Come to think of it, perhaps the tigers of the world should file a class action suit against Apple, Tiger Direct, Kellogs of Battle Creek Michigan, Missouri State University, Clemson University, the city of Detroit, Michigan (Those folks in Michigan are really asking for it!), and the folks who made my tiger print jockey shorts.

We can't be confusing a 500 pound Bengal with my B.V.Ds, now can we?

is a writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He's been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.

You can send your comments directly to me, or you can also post your comments below.

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