Apple’s recently announced iPad device may soon be at the center of a trademark dispute with Fujitsu, a Tokyo-based company who released a mobile device by the same name way back in 2002. Fujitsu’s iPad, in case you’re curious, runs a Microsoft mobile OS, comes with a 3.5 inch color touchscreen, and supports VoIP telephone calls.
The New York Times is reporting that Fujitsu believes that it owns the ‘iPad’ monkier, and that they are currently discussing what steps to take next with their legal team. Fujitsu originally applied for the iPad trademark in 2003, though it was eventualy abandoned in early 2009. Fujitsu attempted to revive the trademark this past June, but not before Apple stepped in “to apply for an international trademark for the iPad.” Since then, it has filed a series of requests in opposition to Fujitsu’s recently revived trademark application.
The Times, though, notes that Fujitsu may have a tough time claiming the iPad trademark in light of a similar filing from another company.
Fujitsu’s application to trademark the iPad name stalled because of an earlier filing by Mag-Tech, an information technology security company based Seal Beach, California, for a handheld number-encrypting device.
Notably, the dispute between Fujitsu and Apple is only at issue here in the US because there are a number of products worldwide that make use of the ‘iPad’ moniker.
Remember that Apple experienced a similar dispute in 2007 when it first introduced the iPhone, a trademark that was owned by Cisco. Once released, Cisco sued Apple though the case was eventually settled with both sides agreeing to share the iPhone trademark on their respective products. Both companies also agreed to collaborate on future projects together, though the specific terms of the agreement were never made public.