ITV To Apple: Hands Off Our Name

While Apple Inc. has encountered much success recently, the Cupertino-based company has also met with many a conflict, too. There's the "iPad" trademark dispute in China, the new mess with Motorola Mobility over a Qualcomm license in Germany, and the Samsung patent disputes that are ongoing in several countries, just to name a few.

In the midst of all this, Apple may want to fend off more fights, but it might not have a choice in the United Kingdom. According to The Telegraph, British network ITV, which runs popular shows like "Downton Abbey," has reportedly issued a warning to the tech giant to keep its hands off the "iTV" name.

Apple is already a player in the smart TV game with its Apple TV set-top box that lets users connect to the iTunes store, access popular streaming hubs like Netflix and more. For the last several months, increasingly specific rumors have suggested that the release of an Apple-branded television set is in the works, perhaps featuring voice control via Siri; the fabled product is unofficially known as "iTV."

The Telegraph writes that ITV network CEO Adam Crozier first expressed to Apple concerns about the ITV brand name back in 2010.

"ITV has a very strong brand, and a highly valued IP," said Mike Large, the broadcasting company's acting group director of communications, shortly after the company is said to have contacted Apple over trademark concerns, as reported by Pocket-lint. "We have a large number of registered trademarks for ITV and are a household brand of over 50 years."

Apple has yet to release a TV to assume the moniker under dispute, but the rumor mill has been spinning with its supposed specs. And, apparently, Apple's been talking to Canada's Rogers Communications Inc. and BCE Inc. about becoming possible launch partners for the TV product, reports The Globe and Mail.

With Apple's TV slated to be released later this year, it's no wonder ITV chose to be proactive with the trademark, which is sure to be a problem in the future, especially given Apple's history. According to The Telegraph, Apple under Steve Jobs previously assured ITV it wouldn't touch the "iTV" name. But with the company's new leadership under Tim Cook, it's unclear whether the computer company will keep its word.