updated 10:00 am EST, Thu January 28, 2010
Fujitsu mulling whether to fight Apple on iPad
Fujitsu PR head Masahiro Yamane today said his company doesn't believe Apple has the rights to the iPad trademark. The director noted that the Japanese company applied for an iPad trademark in 2003 and that its current business PDA fits the mobile communicator description Apple would likely have to use. Fujitsu lost its trademark this spring but still believes it can lay claim to the name through is earlier development.
"It's our understanding that the name is ours," Yamane told the New York Times.
He added that Fujitsu is consulting its lawyers over what it can do, although it may not actually have much legal basis without the trademark. It re-applied for the trademark in June but has already been contested by Apple at the US Patent and Trademark Office; it also couldn't claim prior use as another company, Mag-Tech, had already applied on its own. Apple has until the end of February to file its formal objection to Fujitsu's trademark.
Launched in 2002, the Fujitsu iPAD is a Windows CE-based handheld designed for warehouse workers and in its current form has a 3.5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Apple's device superficially has similar features, although its much larger size, lack of a number pad, entertainment focus and much lower $499 price (versus $2,000) target a different audience.