First, the iPod, next the iPhone, and then, on Wednesday, January 27, 2010, the world stood still as Steve Jobs announced Apple’s latest soon-to-be-must-have-product, the iPad.
What’s an iPad?According to Apple, the iPad is “our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.” This You Be the Judge post will look at the term “iPad” and whether Apple should have any concerns over the use of this word.
In 2002 a Japanese electronics company, Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc., built a hand-held computing device, complete with Wi-Fi, called the iPad.Fujitsu’s iPad is most commonly used by clerks in retail stores for keeping track of inventory and recording sales.
In 2003, Fujitsu filed for trademark U.S. protection to the term “IPAD” for goods and services “hand-held computing devise for wireless networking in a retail environment.”In early 2009, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office declared that Fujitsu had abandoned the iPad trademark.However, Fujistu re-opened its trademark application in June, 2009, and according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the mark was published for opposition on September 1, 2009.
When searching the USPTO for “iPad,” you’ll also find registration number 3389082 (ENGINES, NOT FOR LAND VEHICLES; ELECTRIC MOTORS FOR MACHINES AND ELECTRIC STARTER MOTORS, NAMELY, DRIVING GEARS) and registration number 3396165 (BRAS; LINGERIE; PANTIES; PADS FOR USE IN BRAS).
Trademark infringement may occur when one party uses a trademark that is identical or confusingly to a trademark owned by another party, for products or services that are identical or similar to the products or services which the registration covers.
Even though, at the time of this article’s publication, no lawsuit has been filed, in the case of Fujitsu’s iPad versus Apple’s iPad, you be the judge. How do you rule? Post in the comments below!