According to AppleInsider Nicholas Woodhams, an Apple iPod repair shop owner from Michigan, has found himself at the wrong end of the Apple legal machine.

Apple has apparently filed a lawsuit which claims misuse of the iPod trademark.

Actually, that is not all Apple claims. The iPod owning giant also accuses Woodhams of allegedly 'manipulating' Apple in order to get free replacement iPods. If that were not enough, the triple whammy is completed by another allegation of conning Apple into repairing iPods which were out of warranty.

However, where Woodhams is probably on the most dodgy of legal grounds is with regard to that trademark misuse charge. Buried within a nine page lawsuit, Apple says that the repair guy was asked to stop using the iPod name way back in 2006 as he had never been given permission to use it in the first place.

Apple say that he agreed to a deal in which he would phase the use of 'ipodmechanic' out by January last year, an stop using the web domain a coupe of months later.

Although Apple say none of these things happened, I note that the ipodmechanic.com URL is now resolved to imechanic.com instead. That said, the resulting webpage has an iPod Mechanic banner and the phrase is repeated throughout the site. So I guess they have a point.

While neither Apple nor the ipodmechanic seem to be saying anything in public about the lawsuit at this point, Apple does see the accusations as being deliberate and is asking for 'triple damages' as well as the disposal of that ipodmechanic domain and name usage.

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A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to Forbes.com, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

Apple may have a point, but they are way over the top here. This is a small business person after all. He may have taken liberties with the iPod name, but one side is a mega corporation and the other is an average joe trying to make a living. Triple damages seems a bit much.