Apple unveiled its most awaited tablet PC this week and called it iPad, in line with it’s customary ‘i’ prefix. While all are talking about the product, Fujitsu is crying foul on use of its trademark.
Fujitsu’s in 2002 launched a handheld device called IPAD and also filed for a trademark 76497338, which was published in Sep’09 and open for opposition. Apple has since then sought for 3 extensions for time to keep their options open for filing an opposition.
This is not the first time Apple is in trouble for its trademark. Earlier, the use of iPhone was objected by Cisco and a Japanese company, which was sorted out by mutually agreeing to use it and change its Japanese spelling to avoid confusion. Other Apple trademark battle with companies include the famous Beatle’s music company Apple Corp and Woolsworth (read here)
Others registered users of the mark IPAD included Siemens for a programmable Electric Drives (3389082), keypads for entering pin (3405828) and a company selling bra inserts (3396165). More IPAD marks applied and on the pipeline at the USPTO were, a medical equipment company (77149473), cleaning industry (77876096) and finally on 16th Jan 2010 by IP Application Development LLC who is applying for Apple (77913563).
We could expect the opposition filed anytime now, unless some mutual agreement is reached by then. But as noted here, Apple will not be able to rely on the filing of its mark as it is not the applicant. It would be interesting to note the strategy Apple uses and its arguments when it finally decides to oppose.