iPad trademark dispute begins between Fujitsu and Apple
As we reported before the official name of the Apple Tablet was released, Fujitsu already had a device named the iPad and the trademark locked down. "It's our understanding that the name is ours," Fujitsu PR director Masahiro Yamane told the New York Times. Fujitsu first released the iPad in 2002 as a point of sales device and applied for the "iPad" trademark in 2003 specifically covering handheld devices used in retail.
With all this trouble on the horizon for Apple, maybe we'll see the iSlate name reappear after all :)
Along the way, the application got bogged down because a company called Mag-Tek had already registered IPAD for its line of PIN-entry keypads, and Fujitsu's application was listed as "abandoned" in April of 2009. The notice of abandonment apparently woke someone at Fujitsu up, because the company then asked the Trademark Office to re-open the application, arguing that Mag-Tek's IPAD had nothing to do with the Fujitsu iPad. The USPTO agreed, re-opened the application, and the process continued until September, when the iPad application was published so other trademark holders could oppose registration. That's when Apple signaled that it wasn't so happy about things -- and filed its own "iPad" trademark application using a shell company called "IP Application Development."
That leaves us at now, with Mag-Tek selling the IPAD under a valid, registered trademark, Fujitsu selling an iPad with a pending trademark application, and Apple sucking all the air out of the room with the launch of the iPad and no US trademark at all.