29 January 2010

Whose iPad is it anyway?

iPad Casephoto © 2010 Yutaka Tsutano | more info (via: Wylio)

You have certainly heard, seen or otherwise perceived (by the way who hasn’t?) that couple of days ago Apple presented its iPad to the public. However surprisingly, the fancy product name “iPad” that seems to perfectly fit into the iFamily of “iBook”, “iPod” and “iPhone”, could now enter the hostile territory of trade mark infringement.

It is funny, but the sign “iPad” has in recent years been really coveted by enterprises around the globe . So much, as some of these have undertaken trade mark registrations under different jurisdictions. For instance, the The Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union  (OHIM) has granted the word mark “iPAD” for motors, engines and drives to Siemens and the word mark “IPAD” to the French Company STMICROELECTRONICS SA for, in particular, integrated circuits and termination lines that, however, may be also applied in cellular phones, computers and computer peripherals.

OHIM has further received an application for registration on 18 January 2010 and this is  filed by a US company named IP Application LLC. The application covers products and services classes such as computers, printed matter, toys, telecommunications and web services that just hardly fail to fit into Apple’s marketing target. It has been said in news reports that in 2009 Apple have used a proxy to file for a registration on Trinidad and Tobago in order to secure a priority date. This same Trinidadian registration is mentioned in IP Applications LLC’s application before OHIM. Any doubts why may be behind that act?

The above application, however, may cause some problems to its applicant. The Community Trade Mark Regulation states a so called relative ground for refusal where a trade mark applied for is identical with an earlier trade mark and the goods or services for which registration is sought are identical with the goods or services for which the earlier trade mark is protected. Consequently, STMICROELECTRONICS SA might successfully oppose Apple’s European registration.

As if that were not enough, the war clouds for Apple are gathering over another – much more promising – battlespace.

2002 Fujitsu came up with a handheld computer named “iPad” for use by shop assistants and has since then attempted to file for a trade mark registration with the US Patent and Trade Mark Office (USPTO).

Fujitsu iPad. Courtesy to TheRegister

Fujitsu’s application to register iPad name was deterred by an earlier filing by Magtek, an information technology security company based in Seal Beach, California, for a handheld number-encrypting device.

Magtek IPAD. Courtesy to Magtek.

The consequence was that the USPTO listed Fujitsu’s application as abandoned in the beginning of 2009, but the Tokyo company managed to revive its application in June 2009. In the autumn of the same year, Apple is believed to have filed requests of opposition before the USPTO and has now time until 28 February 2010 to submit its final opposition statement.

See whether the Canadian lingerie manufacturing company Coconut Grove, to which the USPTO assigned the trade mark “IPAD” for padded bras, will join the technology giants’ war game.


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Comments (11)

  1. 30 January 2010
    Ivo Sokolov said...

    They have enough cash and lawyer brigades on their hands to push the iPad name through.
    But even regardless any trade mark infringements, it’s a valid question why they actually chose to call it namely “iPad” from a pure marketing perspective. I guess a little pun (with the iPod) was intended to install further doses of curiosity in the target customer’s mind. To pursue that target customer — who is well, potentially any Apple customer has up to date — to actively compare it to the existing Apple product line.

  2. 1 February 2010

    Well, but that is exactly the problem – Apple can afford to be arrogant and fight legal battles no matter at what price. If I were Apple and since it is not necessarily image polishing, I would not risk to communicate a message like that to the public.

  3. 1 February 2010

    […] read here on the possible  issues at CTM that Apple will have to encounter in […]

  4. 12 February 2010
    Apple Ipad said...

    Hello. This is kind of an “unconventional” question , but have other visitors asked you how get the menu bar to look like you’ve got it? I also have a blog and am really looking to alter around the theme, however am scared to death to mess with it for fear of the search engines punishing me. I am very new to all of this …so i am just not positive exactly how to try to to it all yet. I’ll just keep working on it one day at a time Thanks for any help you can offer here. Also, I put a link to your blog at my site,hope you dont mind?

    • 13 February 2010

      Hi, in my dashboard I chose “pages”, added new ones and gave them respective names. I haven’t noticed any punishment from search engines so far -) and, no- I don’t mind you linking to my blog.

  5. 30 March 2010

    MARQUES Class 46 just informed that Fujitsu has (presumably for a good amount of money) assigned its title in the application for a US trade mark “iPad” to Apple. http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/q?db=tm&qt=sno&reel=&frame=&sno=76497338&rno=&asnr=&asnri=&asne=&asnei=&asns=&apct=&apcti=&rgst=&rgsti=

  6. 6 October 2010

    Good entry thanks, needed some more pictures though.

  7. 10 October 2010
    facebook design said...

    Good entry cheers, do you have a RSS feed ?

  8. 11 October 2010
    social network said...

    A topic near to my heart thanks, please consider a follow up post.

  9. 8 December 2011

    […] is not Apple’s first dispute over the iPad trade mark. The Cupertino company has so far been successful in regulating the cases arising from […]

  10. 12 February 2013

    […] Досегашната практика на компанията от Купертино бе да подплатява продуктовото си портфолио със съответните марки, така че ако иска да бъде успешна и с подготвяния iЧасовник, ще трябва да развърже кесията си, както направи преди няколко години при придобиването на правото върху iPad. […]

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