March 26, 2010: Apple ends a trademark dispute with Japanese multinational Fujitsu over the identify “iPad” in the US.
It comes two months after Steve Jobs first confirmed off the iPad, and round every week earlier than the pill will land in shops. Because it occurs, it’s not the primary time Apple battled over the identify for certainly one of its new merchandise.
The iPad identify recreation
The Fujitsu iPAD was a handheld computing machine — boasting Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, VoIP help and a 3.5-inch shade touchscreen — launched in 2000. Not a client machine, Fujitsu designed its iPAD to be used by store clerks to maintain monitor of stock and gross sales.
Considerably sarcastically, given the eventual standoff with Apple, Fujitsu itself needed to battle for the iPAD trademark. One other firm referred to as Magazine-Tek used it for a handheld number-encrypting machine.
By early 2009, nevertheless, each of those units have been lengthy forgotten. That 12 months, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace declared Fujitsu’s trademark utility deserted. Nevertheless, Fujitsu shortly moved to reopen the applying.
A trademark battle between Apple and Fujitsu
This got here as Apple acquired busy snapping up iPad logos around the globe. The consequence? A conflict between Apple and Fujitsu over which firm may legally use the identify “iPad.”
“It’s our understanding that the identify is ours,” Masahiro Yamane, director of Fujitsu’s public relations division, advised reporters on the time.
As is the case with many trademark conflicts, the issue stretched past the identify that each corporations claimed. It additionally prolonged to what the units in query may do. Each included comparable capabilities (at the very least on paper!), which meant a direct conflict.
In the end, Apple paid an estimated $4 million for the reassignment of Fujitsu’s iPad trademark rights to Apple. On condition that the iPad grew to become Cupertino’s best-selling new product in historical past, that proved cash properly spent!
Apple’s naming historical past
As talked about earlier, this wasn’t the primary time Apple bumped into issues when naming certainly one of its new merchandise. Three years earlier, Apple clashed with Cisco, which owned the “iPhone” trademark. The 2 corporations ultimately got here to a deal over the identify — solely to later wrangle over the identify “iOS,” which Cisco additionally owned.
And approach again in 1982, Apple confronted an identical scenario. It paid audio firm McIntosh Laboratory to use the identify “Macintosh” for its in-development pc.
Whereas these phrases appear synonymous with Apple now, their historical past illustrates the cruel actuality of developing with a killer product identify.