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Fujitsu launches trademark fight over iPad

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While software manufacturer Apple’s new iPad has received mixed reactions across the blogosphere, the company’s biggest battle may be against its rivals as Fujitsu launches a trademark dispute over the iPad moniker.

Press reports have revealed that the Japanese technology giant is consulting lawyers over the use of the iPad trademark as Fujitsu has been selling products under that name since 2002.

In a leaked memo being promoted by a barrage of American news outlets, Fujitsu employees were told that Apple’s new product is a “possible infringement on our trademark, which has been in use in connection with Fujitsu mobile retailing computer products since 2002”.

Fujitsu’s iPad, mostly used by retail professionals for checking stock levels, was entered for trademark recognition in 2003 but failed after a separate company, Mag-Tek, claimed ownership of the name.

The application was listed as “abandoned” in 2009 but Fujitsu has asked for the case to be reopened as the Mag-Tek product is entirely different from its own.

In September last year, Fujitsu’s application was made public and was challenged by Apple’s lawyers. Apple, while filing its own iPad application, will now argue that Fujitsu was wrong to enter an initial application as the iPad name bears too close a resemblance to its hugely popular iPod brand.

Several other companies have also laid claim to the name, with Siemens using it in conjunction with its engines and motors, while a Canadian firm sells a breast-enhancing iPad bra.

The complex dispute mirrors the furore surrounding Apple’s IP rights and its iPhone trademark. During the product’s 2007 release, Cisco manufacturers was already producing an iPhone product but was forced to hand over rights in the face of Apple’s unforgiving legal team.

And the iPad issue looks set to continue before its ‘eagerly awaited’ launch in March this year.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

February 9, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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