Apple faces legal challenge to iPad name

Iain Thomson | Jan 29, 2010 3:38 PM
Fujitsu says it got there seven years ago.

Apple could be facing a legal challenge over its use of the iPad name for its new tablet.

Fujitsu has said today that it has been selling hardware called iPad since 2002 and applied for the trademark in 2003.

“It’s our understanding that the name is ours,” Masahiro Yamane, director of Fujitsu’s public relations division, told the New York Times.

“Mobile is a keyword for Fujitsu’s iPad, too. With the iPad, workers don’t have to keep running back to a computer. They have everything right at their fingertips.”

He said that the company was currently consulting lawyers about a legal challenge to Apple’s use of the name.

Fujitsu’s iPad is a handheld computer with a 3.5 inch screen running Windows CE with an Intel processor. The device has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a laser scanner and a magnetic card reader.

To complicate matters further the Fujitsu applications for the iPad name has already been held up because of an earlier filing by Magtek, an information technology security company based in California, for a handheld number-encrypting device.

In addition the Siemens uses the name for engines and motors and a Canadian lingerie company, Coconut Grove Pads, has the right to market iPad padded bras.

Fujitsu reapplied for the iPad name in June of this year and Apple is currently opposing their claim to it.

The situation is similar to the launch of the iPhone, which Cisco laid claim to. Apple settled with Cisco for the rights to the name after paying an unspecified amount.