Apple clears the way to launch iPod spin-off ‘Dopod’ in Europe

Apple could be readying the launch of a new version of the iPod in Europe, after applying to trademark the name Dopod across the EU.

The application covers a wide range of possible uses for the device, including internet access or using it as a digital audio player, mobile phone, videophone, digital camera or television and radio receiver.

The application for a Community Trade Mark was filed late last month by Apple with the EU’s umbrella trademark authority, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market. If accepted, it will take effect across all 25 EU member countries.

Apple is also believed to have also applied for a similar trademark for Dopod in Japan.The company refused to comment on the trademark or its plans.

The company could run into difficulties, with an Italian firm also applying for the Dopod mark in the EU on similar grounds.

There is also a two-year-old Singapore-based company called Dopod Asia, which manufactures mobile handsets and personal digital assistants. Dopod Asia has already worked with Sony Ericsson on handsets able to play MP3 files. A number of its senior executives, including Charles Huang, the director of its channel division, and Patricia Siew, director of its Marcom division, have previously worked for Apple in South Asia.

Apple has announced a number of new initiatives this week, including new photo and chat software for Macs, as it strives to maintain its position in the cut-throat consumer goods market.

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