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What's in a name? Aussie 'HealthKit' firm unhappy with Apple

Ryan Faas | June 9, 2014
An Australian company has made a big deal this week of taking umbridge over Apple's use of the name HealthKit. That's because the company is named HealthKit.

It's understandable that Hardacre and her company are put out by Apple's actions, particularly with the media coverage of the name. And it's quite possible that Apple might offer to negotiate use of it. Apple has done that when it's stepped on trademarks in the past — including iPhone/Iphone. But the reality is that Apple would have a pretty strong legal case (supported by its incredibly strong legal team) simply by asserting that its collection of APIs are not, of themselves, a product or public-facing. Apple isn't using them in a way that directly affects HealthKit's product or service and, as such, don't infringe on any trademarks.

Apple could even point out that Samsung's SAMI service, announced last week, is a direct competitor to HealthKit, whereas Apple's API framework isn't.

Realistically, a year from now, most iOS users may have forgotten the HealthKit name as a part of iOS 8 and simply refer to the Health app or the various apps that integrate with it using the HealthKit APIs. The situation may even turn out to be a benefit for HealthKit (the company) because Apple's use of the name has shined a worldwide spotlight on the company's name.

But a legal fight? Not this time.


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