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Fujitsu Readies Lawsuit Over "iPad" Name 367

Posted by timothy
from the walt-disney's-lesson dept.
gyrogeerloose writes "In an event eerily reminiscent of Cisco's suit over Apple's use of the 'iPhone' name, Japanese firm Fujitsu is consulting its attorneys in preparation for going to court over Apple's use of 'iPad' for its latest computing device. Quoted in a New York Times story, Masahiro Yamane, director of Fujitsu's public relations division, said 'It's our understanding that the name is ours.' Fujitsu's application to trademark the iPad name stalled because of an earlier filing by another company and the US Patent and Trademark Office listed Fujitsu's application as abandoned in early 2009, but the company revived its application in June. Apple, which has applied for an international trademark on 'iPad' through a proxy company, has filed a number of requests with the US Patent Office for more time to oppose Fujitsu's application."
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Fujitsu Readies Lawsuit Over "iPad" Name

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  • welp (Score:3, Funny)

    by poetmatt (793785) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:04PM (#30941108) Journal

    Ipad as a name is about as bad as it can get for apple, due to all the jokes and the SNL skit. Is itablet also trademarked?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by negRo_slim (636783)
      I think Fujitsu sees a way to make a little scratch and stick it to Apple, as lord knows the name is awful... Just awful...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Why is iPad worse than Thinkpad? Or notepad.exe. Grow up people, pad is a perfectly fine and useful English word.
      • Re:welp (Score:4, Informative)

        by creimer (824291) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:17PM (#30941368) Homepage
        If you paid attention to the Twitter feed when the iPad was announced, the jokes were coming from a lot of hot and bothered women. This is one area where they let their hair down and get nasty.
        • Re:welp (Score:5, Insightful)

          by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:44PM (#30941846) Homepage Journal

          Another great reason not to use twitter!

      • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:19PM (#30941408)

        How many times has dad told you that you mustn't drink and post on slashdot...?

      • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

        Humor does not always make sense, and trying to apply logic to it is a fool's errand.

        Why is iPad funny while notpad.exe and thinkpad are not? Because it is.

      • by BobMcD (601576)

        Why is iPad worse than Thinkpad? Or notepad.exe. Grow up people, pad is a perfectly fine and useful English word.

        There's nothing 'un-fine' or 'un-useful' about the word, but around these parts a 'pad' is a usually a feminine hygiene product. iTampon would be equally useful and fine. It would also be equally unfortunate.

        Other types of 'pad' exist, but those terms seem to be falling out of use due to the feminine hygiene industry and their relentless advertising. Successful advertising, too, since this is the first thing I personally thought of when reading that new product name - some kind of electronic feminine hyg

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by clone53421 (1310749)

        IBM’s Thinkpad sounds like an intelligent choice and a good product. Mac’s iPad sounds like...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mdwh2 (535323)

        The "i" is a lot more trivial and insignificant than "Think" or "Note" - not to mention that notepad is a pre-existing word, so people are less likely to think of the association.

    • Re:welp (Score:5, Funny)

      by adisakp (705706) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:22PM (#30941466) Journal

      Ipad as a name is about as bad as it can get for apple, due to all the jokes and the SNL skit. Is itablet also trademarked?

      It's actually a MAD TV Skit [youtube.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      People still watch SNL after the age of 16? Wow ...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Ipad as a name is about as bad as it can get for apple, due to all the jokes and the SNL skit. Is itablet also trademarked?

      If you think about it, people said the same thing about the Wii, but the extra publicity only helped out Nintendo.

  • Eerily? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:05PM (#30941138)

    There's nothing eerie about this situation. Can't people say "reminiscent" without prefacing it?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tetsujin (103070)

      There's nothing eerie about this situation.

      Well, there wouldn't be anything eerie about Fujitsu's lawsuit, except that their lawyer is a ghost pirate representing the Haunted Amusement Park lawfirm...

    • Good point. It's overused, I should have left it off.

  • by Rewind (138843) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:06PM (#30941140) Homepage
    I hate to let you two know, but... well, that name is terrible. Then again iPod and Walkman didn't exactly sound great when they first came out either. WAIT! Maybe that is the secret of good marketing! A terrible name. Quickly to the iInventadrome!
  • Better name (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:06PM (#30941166)

    Apple should call it "MacsiPad" instead to both avoid a lawsuit and appeal to female consumers.

  • by Sebilrazen (870600) <blahsebilrazen@blah.com> on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:07PM (#30941168)
    and spin this as a terrible loss, which will unfortunately cause them to come up with a better name.
  • by genghisjahn (1344927) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:07PM (#30941178) Homepage
    As in stone tablets for all you FSM heretics that never went to Sunday school. However, even with a young earth, it should have entered the public domain by now.
    • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:10PM (#30941234) Journal

      Moses didn't go to Sunday School either, he kept Sabbath. Sunday Heretics hmmmph

    • by swillden (191260)

      As in stone tablets for all you FSM heretics that never went to Sunday school. However, even with a young earth, it should have entered the public domain by now.

      Not after Congress makes the next retroactive trademark term extension! All IP terms are going to be extended to 1 billion years, retroactive, so Congress doesn't have to mess with the issue again but the Supreme Court can still argue that the terms are "for a limited time".

      (Actually, trademarks don't have time-limited expirations. They stay valid as long as they remain in use and are defended. Since Moses hasn't been filing all of the lawsuits needed to maintain his trademark, he's lost it).

  • iPadMax (Score:2, Insightful)

    I'd advise Fujitsu to drop it altogether. Given all the jokes going around about Maxi-iPads I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that these marketing dweeds thought that it was a good name. When the presentation was made wasn't there at least one snarky employee in the back snickering?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by repetty (260322)

      iPad is a great name.

      But we don't have to debate it... in two years we'll know for sure. I think that everyone will have forgotten all about sanitary napkins reference by then.

      Even if you remember the whole iPad/Maxi-Pad thing, when you bring it up everyone around you will tell you how you're getting old.

      Two years is an awfully long time, nowadays.

  • by creimer (824291) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:09PM (#30941210) Homepage
    I don't think I'm manly enough to appear in public with the iPad for Women [youtube.com]. In fact, I might sue Apple for reminding me of my childhood trauma of being dragged into that particular aisle of the grocery store by my mother.
  • earlier filing by another company

    So what we have is ACME Inc that isnt even named files a trademark on "iPad" knowing full well that Apple prefixes all their products with an i. They do this on the off chance that Apple ever comes out with an "iPad" and they would be able to sue for big bucks. Fujitsu realizes the same thing and tries to put their own trademark on "iPad", but is blocked because someone else already owns it. Now Apple announces a real iPad and Fujitsu is pissed because they don't really own the trademark yet but want sue so

    • by loftwyr (36717) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:21PM (#30941446)

      From the article... Fujitsu, which applied for an iPad trademark in 2003

      Intel also used to try to keep the lower case i as their own trademark (as is i386, i486, etc.) before Apple launched the iPod.

      Apple doesn't own the legal or moral rights to the lower case i prefix, they weren't even the first to use it.

    • Well - I found THIS [currentdirections.com] with a quick google search.

      The article doesn't have a date attached but it totes

      "It houses a powerful Intel processor and can support any 802.11b wireless LAN infrastructure"

      802.11b? B?

      This thing was probably made last decade, and Fujitsu wanted to patent the name THEN. And - like you said, some random Acme Inc probably already had the name patented so that BOTH of them don't have it.

      Unless of course this Acme Inc is the proxy company that Apple uses. In which case, sorry Fujitsu, welcom

      • by Tetsujin (103070)

        This thing was probably made last decade, and Fujitsu wanted to patent the name THEN.

        It came out in 2002. It's an example of an archaic device which at the time was known as a "Personal Digital Assistant". Its 802.11b was even better than the irDA or Bluetoothh connectivity offered by other models...

        People are saying the name is a ripoff of Apple's iPod name - and since the iPad came out in 2002, a year after iPod, this is possible. But don't forget the iPAQ, which was one of the most successful Windows CE-based PDAs of that era... And which predates the iPod (but not, of course, the iM

    • by linumax (910946) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:29PM (#30941578)

      Bullshit! MagTek has an IPAD product [magtek.com], and has filed the trademark in 2000 [uspto.gov] which was later granted and then extended several times. Even Fujitus was and is after the name for their product much longer than Apple.

      knowing full well that Apple prefixes all their products with an i

      Apple doesn't own "iX" and it shouldn't get any special treatment. If it wants a trademark then should apply for it like everyone else. In this case it's late to the game, in fact too late.

      • by itsdapead (734413) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @06:01PM (#30943088)

        Bullshit! MagTek has an IPAD product [magtek.com]

        Now look closer. The MagTek device in your link is a point-of-sale card swipe terminal, presumably sold mainly to the retail industry.

        Now look at TFA. The Fujitsu iPad is a point-of-sale card-swipe terminal sold mainly to the retail industry.

        The Apple iPad, meanwhile, is a consumer appliance, conspicuously lacking a card-swipe device and is not primarily targeted at the point-of-sale market.

        Or, in other words, MagTek have Fujitsu banged to rights for infringing their trademark, whereas Apple have a strong argument that they're not operating in the same market.

  • Am I the only one? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by javelinco (652113) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:11PM (#30941248) Journal
    Am I the only person who sees this as an excellent opportunity for Apple to ditch the unfortunate moniker and go with something like iSlate? I mean, they can even deliver a bunch of moralizing over the thing. And yes, it'll cost them - but it's going to cost them to keep the iPad too - people are making more fun of the name then they are paying attention to the shiny lights of the product.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      After Nintendo's success with the Wii, I'm not surprised they would go for such an embarrassing name for their product. I'm just nervous about where the future is taking us.
    • by nedlohs (1335013) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:20PM (#30941440)

      Making fun of it involves telling people about it.

      The number of people who wouldn't buy one because of the name is vanishingly small.

      So benefits far outweigh costs.

      • by repetty (260322) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @05:07PM (#30942280) Homepage

        The number of people who wouldn't buy one because of the name is vanishingly small.

        If the product is good, that number will be zero. If the product is no good and fails, pundits will write for years about how the name killed it. Such is historical revisionism.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        That's true, but I think a good name can get people to talk about it just as much as a making fun of a bad name. Remember squirting songs at each other using your Zune? Arguably, people who failed to see the benefits of squirting at each other did so not because of the name, but because the feature itself was pretty much crippled and you had a hard time finding other zune owners to with which to squirt. I don't think it helped their case to build mind-share however that doing a google search for squirtin [google.com]
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Am I the only person who sees this as an excellent opportunity for Apple to ditch the unfortunate moniker and go with something like iSlate?

      Yes, no one could ever come up with jokes for that name. Especially not if something related to the product is delayed.

    • by Tetsujin (103070)

      Am I the only person who sees this as an excellent opportunity for Apple to ditch the unfortunate moniker and go with something like iSlate?

      Didn't iFred iFlintstone have one of those?

  • Dear Steve Jobs, (Score:2, Insightful)

    by yttrstein (891553)
    Let them have it. Seriously. You don't want to be remembered forever for the creation of the most annoying feminine hygiene meme in the universe.
  • by jgagnon (1663075) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:23PM (#30941484)

    I'm pretty sure that name is available.

  • iCandy (Score:2, Funny)

    by macintard (1270416)
    How about they just label all of their products iCandy?
  • ... iThink500DollarsIsFarTooExpensiveForSomethingSoLockedDown.

    Or are we using that one for Apple's mobile telephone thingy?

  • by amasiancrasian (1132031) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:52PM (#30941984)

    Change your apps name. Not that big of a deal.

    Steve

    Sent from my iPhone

    From Wired [wired.com]

  • by Steve Newall (24926) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @05:02PM (#30942192)
    It's interesting that in the Canadian Apple Stores, the sales assistants use the Fujitsu iPad http://solutions.us.fujitsu.com/downloads/retail/DS_IPAD.pdf [fujitsu.com] if you wish to pay by credit card and have your receipt e-mailed to you (you don't need to line up at a cashier)

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