Will AirPods Replace EarPods For Your iPod?

AppleInsider reports that a newly-incorporated entity called Entertainment in Flight, LLC has filed a U.S. trademark application for the mark AIRPODS.  According to the application, the AIRPODS mark is intended to be used with the following list of goods:

Audio components and accessories; sound recording and reproducing apparatus; digital video recorders and players; remote control apparatus; audio speakers; earphones, headphones; microphones; voice recording and recognition apparatus; radios, radio transmitters, and receivers; handheld digital electronic devices and software related thereto; wireless communication devices for voice, data or image transmission; electrical and electronic connectors, couplers, wires, cables, chargers, docks, docking stations, interfaces, and adapters for use with all of the aforesaid goods.

The U.S. application, filed September 22, 2015, claims priority to an earlier application for the AIRPODS mark filed in Jamaica on March 23, 2015, just one day shy of six months before the U.S. filing date.  The timing of the U.S. filing was clearly based on the six-month deadline for priority filing under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, a treaty between the U.S. and 174 other countries that allows a trademark application filed in one member country (e.g., the U.S.) to claim priority to an equivalent trademark application filed in another member country (e.g., Jamaica), if the later application is filed within six months of the filing date of the earlier application (see an earlier post on this subject here).

The AIRPODS filing has the Apple user community abuzz with speculation that Apple may be the real company behind the application, and that the applicant of record, Entertainment in Flight, LLC, is just a proxy controlled by Apple.  There are several pieces of circumstantial evidence to support the proposition that AIRPODS is intended to be the name of one or more future Apple products.  First, the AIRPODS moniker fits squarely within the company’s current and past product nomenclature, which includes names such as iPod, iPad Air, MacBook Air, AirDrop, AirMac, AirPlay, AirPort, AirPrint, AirTunes, and perhaps most tellingly, EarPods.  Second, the strategy of initially filing in Jamaica, then filing a U.S. application on or near the six-month priority deadline, is one frequently employed by Apple (see, e.g., the aforesaid EarPods mark).  The Jamaica Intellectual Property Office is favored by Apple due to the fact that, in addition to being somewhat obscure, it does not appear to have a publicly accessible database of trademark filings, which enables the company to secure an early filing date while effectively keeping a new product name secret.  Third, the goods listed in the application could easily encompass large swaths of Apple’s current product lines and technologies.  Finally, as the article notes, Apple clearly envisions a wireless future for its products, and wireless headphones would be a natural step in that direction.  While only time will tell whether any of this speculation proves to be correct, you should not be surprised if your next iPhone comes with AirPods.  From AppleInsider.

 By Juanibb (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via  Wikimedia Commons .

By Juanibb (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.