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iPad name conflicts with STMicro trademarks

updated 01:15 pm EST, Thu February 4, 2010

Mutual agreement likely

Apple has obstacles in Europe to overcome if it wants to legally use the name iPad, news sources observe. A joint French-Italian company, STMicroelectronics, is already said to have continental rights to the name under two trademark classifications, covering print usage and electronics and components. An Apple front is recently believed to have filed for six European classifications, including the two which STMicro operates under.

The latter business uses the term "IPAD" to refer to chips sold to cellphone makers. Unlike Apple's iPad, the STMicro name is an acronym, standing for Integrated Passive and Active Devices. A mutual agreement on sharing the trademarks may in fact be likely, as STMicro's CEO, Carlo Bozotti, has just made comments from Taiwan that he hopes to "have a great customer named Apple."

The biggest trademark challenge for Apple remains Fujitsu, which recently let efforts to secure "iPAD" in the US lapse, but has had a functional product in the market since 2002. The Fujitsu iPAD is meant for retail and warehouse workers, rather than the general public. Regardless, Fujitsu insists it should have the trademark.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple's lawyers...

    most certainly knew of these other trademarks, names, and such before using the iPad name. I'm sure they are willing to work something out, but why waste the money? To be truthful, it's getting harder and harder to come up with meaningful, marketable short names.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nothing new...

    The original Macintosh name belonged to someone else (and Steve knew). It was famously christened the Mac before the name ownership issues were resolved. Once Steve decides on a name... that's it! Are there any other Steve Jobs out there?

  1. jondesu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    McIntosh name was taken, not Macintosh

    I think you'll find that it was Jeff Raskin who came up with the Macintosh name, though he wanted to call it McIntosh, but there was already a line of audio equipment by that name, so they changed the name to avoid conflict. Not the same situation, nor the same people involved.

    Still, I bet Apple knew and didn't care. The iPhone name comes to mind hereā€¦


  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    but there was already a line of audio equipment by that name, so they changed the name to avoid conflict. Not the same situation..

    Especially since the name change was made before it was released, not because someone had a trademark. Certainly since if there was a complaint, going from Mcintosh to Macintosh would not have appeased a set of lawyers.

    Still, I bet Apple knew and didn't care. The iPhone name comes to mind here

    But they surely may care if they're told they can't use the name. However, I doubt there'd be confusion between the products of a chip manufacturer and Apple's thing. It really depends on how the classification system works over there.

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