Why is Apple filing a iPodcast Patent?

Apple has recently filed a patent that covers the menu selection process for what looks like a new menu item within the iPod called iPodcasts. This makes my eyebrows raise considering the fact that they have thus far shown an inclination to go after podcast directories and those that have a podcast aggregator with name podcast in it with cease and desist.

So far the folks at iPodder had to change their name to Juice a now defunct podcast directory that Adam Curry started had to change their name unknown if Apple asked or if a cease and desist had been issued. A Mac podcatcher was forced to change their name as well then recently the folks at Apple went after the folks at Podcast Ready in their myPodder offering which is currently shipping on some MP3 players.

It seems Apple is being selective in who they go after which to me smells like they are slowly going to try and guarantee that no other device out their will be able to have the word podcast in it’s naming scheme when the application is tied to down loading podcasts onto MP3 players.

Up to this point only the folks at Podcast Ready apparently have stood their ground and I have no idea where that is at in the legal stage.

With this filing It makes me feel that Apple really does not want to play nice in the podcasts space. First and foremost Apple needs to remember that they did not come up with the word Podcast and for them to try and exert their influence on sites and applications that have any portion of the word “Pod” or “Podcast” in it’s name is in my opinion not the way to build community devotion.

Nobody knows what the game plan is for Apple but after seeing this Patent filing along with others that they have filed in the past I am sure it will require lawyers and hopefully the Patent office will not have there heads in the sand on their tactics. [ZDNet]