It would appear that Amazon has not given up the idea of launching a competitor to YouTube, Google’s massively-popular video sharing site.
Amazon last week filed a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the name, FireTube. While Amazon does not mention YouTube in its application, the lengthy description for FireTube bares an interesting similarity to YouTube’s main features.
FireTube, Amazon says, would provide “on-line network services that enable users to share content, photos, videos, text, data, images and other electronic works.” The company says Fire Tube would also deliver “non-downloadable pre-recorded audio, visual and audiovisual works via wireless networks on a variety of topics,” among other tasks.
Amazon filed similar trademark applications for the names, ‘Amazon Tube’ and ‘Open Tube,’ in December 2017 when it was involved in a business scrape with Google. (The TV Answer Man broke this story with an exclusive report here.) The two companies were battling over whether to carry each other’s products, and Google at one point pulled YouTube from Amazon’s streaming device, Fire TV.
However, the dispute seemed to be resolved last year when Amazon again began selling Google Home and Google Chromecast on its e-commerce site.
In addition, Amazon’s trademark requests for Amazon Tube and Open Tube have been in limbo since November 2018 when trademark officials told the company that the applications lacked sufficient information and criteria. The trademark office gave Amazon six months to respond, but the company has yet to do so. Failure to respond in that time would mean that the two trademarks would likely be denied.
It’s unclear if this new application for FireTube is a sign that the Amazon-Google relationship is again on the rocks, or whether Amazon is simply keeping its options open.
— Phillip Swann
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