I always said that rather than being the lovely, benevolent, tree-hugging and puppy-kissing company that many paint it to be, Apple is actually no different from any other corporation. Maybe soon people will start listening to me.
Just because Steve Jobs is a charismatic leader and the company's products are generally used by well-dressed, affluent, young-and-hip creatives or media types with kipper ties and interesting facial hair arrangements (and that's just the girls) it doesn't make Apple better or worse than any other big brand.
It may be only me that thinks the vast majority of iPod users seem to be misanthropes who want to spoil everyone else's journey to work with the tinny rattle of crap music. But perhaps we need to separate this part of Apple's target market from the segment that consists largely of harmless beardy-weirdies wearing plastic sandals.
Greenpeace recently slated Apple and several other IT companies for having less-than-satisfactory green credentials, and hardcore Mac fans may very well have been surprised by this. But something even more disturbing has been happening.
And this involves the word 'pod'. Apple is cracking down on other companies using what it sees to be its own property. Never mind that the word 'pod' has appeared in every single English-language dictionary since Dr Johnson, if you're a company that wants to use this particular word then you'd best think very carefully. Apple, with its vast resources and any number of attack dogs, er, lawyers, at its disposal won't be happy at all.
So listen up all you spacecraft designers - you're going to need to come up with some sort of alternative to an escape pod. Perhaps you could call it an escape capsule instead, though that makes it sound a bit like something that will be either buried or dug up in the Blue Peter garden in 25 years time.
Apple's reason for this, other than the trademark infringement, is that it could confuse its customers. I reckon that if a customer is really that dense then they're going to be confused by pretty much everything. Such as walking and talking at the same time.
It would be a cynical conclusion to come to that Apple is perhaps showing that it is more interested in protecting revenue streams than hanging on to its positive brand image. However, some are undoubtedly going to see it like this.