Apple’s iPad was only a few hours old and Twitter was full of comments on it. The number one trending topic was #Itampon. Now we hear news that Apple is already facing legal troubles. Not terribly surprising, as “iPad” is hardly original and apparently Apple has somewhat of a history, stealing registered trademarks of other companies.
A Japanese electronics company, named Fujitsu, supposedly built a handheld computing device way back in 2002 and called it the iPad. Fujitsu wanted the iPad name back then and still wants it today. The company first applied to trademark the name “iPad” in 2003, though the application ran into problems because another company — Mag-Tek — was already using the name for another product.
That’s right, the name iPad is hardly unique! But here is the twist…
In early 2009, Fujitsu’s trademark application was declared abandoned by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but the company re-opened its application in June – probably upon hearing that Apple was considering the name for their new product. Best way to make money, eh? Since the re-instatement of the Fujitsu application, Apple has been trying to take it away (via proxy) — in fact, they’ve filed three petitions to extend the deadline and have until February 28th to oppose Fujitsu’s claims on the name.
So while Apple’s lawyers and Fujitsu’s lawyers battle it out in court, there are yet other products using the semi-trademarked name “iPad” — including a padded bra by a Canadian lingerie company called Coconut Grove Intimates, some auto parts by German company Siemens, and a tablet computer made my ST Microelectronics.
Who will win this epic battle?
Wonder if iTampon is registered yet??