The navigation system manufacturer
has threatened legal action against Mac software maker
Equinux, causing Equinux to discontinue sales of its software program TamTam.
TomTom is a portable touch-screen-based device that provides travelers with door-to-door directions using satellite-based Global Position System (GPS) technology. TomTom has recently made a major marketing push in the United States, buying prime-time ad space on commercial television.
TomTom devices interface to a computer using a USB 2.0 cable. Users can connect the TomTom to their computer to upgrade it with new maps and other data.
Equinux — a Mac software developer whose previous credits include the eBay selling utility iSale, VPN Tracker and more — created TamTam, a utility that enables Mac users to access the data on the included CD, including uploading maps, addresses and voices. The software only worked with the TomTom “Classic” system — TomTom has several navigation systems available. TomTom provides Mac and PC compatible software that works with the newer models.
In a posting to its Web site, Equinux indicated that TomTom threatened legal action unless Equinux changed the name and icon of its TamTam product and removed all references to “TomTom” from its marketing literature.
“The resulting effects of this complaint is essentially a sales-ban for TamTam,” said Equinux.
Equinux CEO Till Schadde said that the company has decided to remove TamTam from the market all together as a result of the complaint.
“TomTom is that typical hardware manufacturer that first ignores the Mac market, leaving others to pave the way and make their devices Mac compatible. Once the market has matured, they then take-over via arbitrary threats against those who provided the initial Mac-based solutions,” said Schadde in a statement.
A spokesperson for TomTom told
the company demanded Equinux stop using the TomTom name “to avoid any assumption of business relationship (which was never there).” TamTam, said the navigation system maker, would create a “likelihood of confusion” with TomTom’s own trademark.
“We have not yet received a formal response from Equinux on the matter,” said the spokesperson, who added that “TomTom shall not go to court since, apparently, Equinux has granted the claims of TomTom.”
A representative from Equinux was not available as this article was posted.
Updated 12:45PM 12/23/05: Due to a reporting error, it was indicated that TomTom does not include Mac-compatible software for its newer systems; that has been corrected. Also, a quote was added from a TomTom representative.