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.