If you say "iPad" to Fujitsu PR director Masahiro Yamane, he doesn't think about Apple. No, the only thing that comes to mind is Fujitsu's Windows CE-based iPad, from 2002. And soon, lawyers. Lots of lawyers.
This isn't the first time Apple's appropriated a name that existed before, but this time the story might not play out like it has in the past. According to the NYT:
Fujitsu's application to trademark the iPad name stalled because of an earlier filing by Mag-Tech, an information technology security company based Seal Beach, California, for a handheld number-encrypting device.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office listed Fujitsu's application as abandoned in early 2009, but the company revived its application in June.
The following month, Apple used a proxy to apply for an international trademark for the iPad. It has since filed a string of requests with the U.S. Patent Office for more time to oppose Fujitsu's application. Apple has until Feb. 28 to say whether it will oppose Fujitsu's claims to the iPad name.
This isn't quite as clear cut as Apple marching in and snatching a name from someone, so instead of just paying Fujitsu off, there's a good chance Apple will actually fight this. [NYT via DigitalDaily]