201106161125.jpgLong before iPad this and mobile that, the late Byron Preiss came up with a lot of notable advances in comics publishing, including comics on CD-ROM — we laughed then, but it wa just ahead of its time. Preiss’s publishing efforts included an imprint called ibooks, which published books by Joe Kubert among others — over a thousand titles in all.

The Preiss estate was left in bankruptcy after his abrupt death in 2005; remaining assets were purchased by John Colby in 2006.

And now the other legal shoe has dropped, as Colby is suing Apple over the term iBooks . Apple does own the trademark for iBook and iBooks, but Colby claims that Apple had never previously used the term for book sales until 2010.

“Apple’s use of the mark ‘iBooks’ to denote the electronic library that can be accessed via its iPad tablet computer and its iPhone is likely to overwhelm the good will of plaintiffs’ ‘ibooks’ and ‘ipicturebooks’ marks and render them virtually worthless,” the lawsuit says.


  1. Trademarks have to be used to continue to be valid. If you don’t use it, someone else can come in a create a new trademark using the same word.

    (I covered this same territory last week regarding the Mystery Men comic, and just don’t have the energy to walk through it again. So searching TESS is left as an exercise for the reader.)

  2. Small clarification, Heidi: the companies Byron Preiss Visual Publications and ibooks, inc. were in bankruptcy, not Byron’s personal estate.

    And yes, if not for Byron, DC wouldn’t now be republishing Kubert’s Yossel and Jew Gangster, which ibooks, inc. had published after they’d been rejected under the Levitz administration.

    Well, at least NOW I know what John Colby’s been doing with the company since I worked there…