The Battle Over the iPad

by Erica Intzekostas on January 27, 2010

Apple is angling to obtain exclusive rights to the brand name iPad for ¬†handheld wireless computer devices. The stumbling block for Apple is the fact that Fujitsu currently has a trademark application for the name that has been given preliminary approval by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. While that would normally make it extremely difficult for Apple, Apple is planning on opposing Fujitsu’s application, presumably on the basis that Fujitsu is not using the mark in commerce. In fact, at one point back in April of last year the Trademark Office deemed the application abandoned for Fujitsu’s failure to respond to the Trademark Office’s requests, until Fujitsu resumed its pursuit of the name a couple months later. Apple has filed a request with the Trademark Office to allow Apple more time to file an opposition. Apple currently has until February 28th to file its opposition. In general, a trademark owner can only maintain exclusive rights to a brand name for as long as it is using the brand name in commerce; a trademark owner cannot simply claim rights to a name that it does not use just to prevent anyone else from using it. Therefore, if Apple can demonstrate that Fujitsu does not use brand name, it may very well win this trademark battle.

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