One of the key announcements at Apple’s WWDC 2014 developer event was Swift, a new programming language. Whatever the technical merits of the approach, it continues an ignoble Apple tradition of grabbing names that are already in use in the tech space.
Before Apple came along, Swift was the name of at least four other projects in the technology space:
- The storage component of OpenStack
- An XMPP-compliant messaging client
- A parallel scripting language (though this isn’t widely used)
- The ARM-7 core in the Apple A6 and A6X chip (I’m guessing this might be where the idea came from)
Apple has plenty of form in this area. When it launched the original iPhone, Cisco owned the trademark on that name. Apple also was involved in a brief battle over the name iCloud. It even tried to trademark the word startup in Australia.