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Friday, August 13, 2010, 05:25 am PT (08:25 am ET)

Apple's rumored iTV rebranding makes UK broadcaster 'furious'

A new rumor suggesting the Apple TV could be redesigned and renamed the iTV has caused a stir with ITV, the oldest commercial television network in the U.K.

Even though the Apple iTV name is not official, Mirror.co.uk reported on Friday that executives at the ITV network were "furious" and met with lawyers this week to "stop the move." The network is reportedly looking to achieve a global ban, preventing Apple from using the name in any territory.

"You only have to look at recent problems with the iPhone 4 to see not everything Apple produces is gold dust," a source told the publication. "We all take our ITV brand very seriously and we'll do everything in our power to protect it."

ITV is a public service network that serves as a competitor to the BBC. The station was launched in 1955.

Of course, it's all speculation at this point, as Apple hasn't even announced the alleged Apple TV redesign, let alone officially settled on a name.

The controversy at the ITV network erupted after it was reported this week that the next Apple TV will be renamed to iTV, and will run the iOS mobile operating system. The rumored device will allegedly have a targeted starting price of $99, and will stream 720p content to users' HDTVs.

Having a product with an already-established name is, of course, nothing new for Apple, particularly for its 'i' products. In 2007, it announced the iPhone, only to be sued days later by Cisco, which owned the rights to the name. The Linksys iPhone was released just three weeks before the Apple iPhone was introduced at the Macworld San Francisco keynote in early January 2007.

Just over a month later, Apple and Cisco settled their dispute, with both companies retaining the right to use the iPhone trademark on products throughout the world. Terms of the deal were confidential.

And early this year, after Apple announced the iPad, it was revealed that Fujitsu had already released a product with that name in 2002. But Apple eventually acquired the trademark for the name before the iPad was officially released.