Could Apple lose the trademark exclusivity to the term iPad?

Could Apple lose the trademark exclusivity to the term iPad?
It's been less than 3 years since we became familiar with the term iPad. We first heard it introduced by Steve Jobs when he famously announced the introduction of the original iPad. Immediately on its successful release, there were claims made around the world by various companies, all claiming Apple violated trademark rights by using the now famous name. While most of the claims have been resolved, Proview, a Chinese firm, still is in active legal dispute with Apple, contending that it owned the trademark in China prior to Apple using the name.

Has the term iPad become synonymous with tablet, or do consumers still think of Apple when they hear the name? With such a large selection of tablets to chose from now, Apple must maintain that it's their brand name, and that iPad remains synonymous with its tablet and only its tablet. In the past companies like Xerox and Kleenex have been in similar situations where they've had to be careful that the  company and branding are specific to their respective products in order for the term to remain a legally protected trademark.

Professor Jessica Litman, of Michigan Law School says Apple has done a pretty good job at protecting its trademarks from becoming generic terms in the past. She says Apple "is able to skate pretty close to the generics line while making it very clear the name is a trademark of the Apple version of this general category."

It's hard to imagine looking at any tablet and calling it an iPad, but there's a growing consumer base new to the tablet market, and they hear the terms iPhone and iTablet, and iAnything and just assume it's a techie term for the later half of the product name. Apple in itself has put a lot of emphasis on the word Apple, so it's likely that if it were to lose the exclusivity it would fair just fine. After all, who is going to want to buy a "Samsung Galaxy iPad?"

source: SlashGear

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32 Comments

1. cupcake

Posts: 106; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

That's lame.

32. jogutier

Posts: 324; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

No it's not. Its Apple getting done to them, as they do to EVERYONE else. LOL I love it!

2. Leyjee

Posts: 47; Member since: Feb 25, 2011

What is this piece of writing? Come on PA your better than space-filler articles like this.

3. azri05 unregistered

iHavetogotothebathroom

4. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Ipod touch xl,Its the quite apt alternative!!!

5. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

I am sure with some money from Apple .. they will be allowed to dominate the tablet world with their always imitated never duplicated ipad

6. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

iPOOP

8. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

so do i but only if needed

17. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

LOL!!!!!!!!

30. Mandroid

Posts: 209; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

You're beyond pathetic and have brought both shame and suicidal thoughts to your family.

7. DroidGod

Posts: 48; Member since: Jul 09, 2011

iDGAF

9. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

If they did rename it the Samsung tab, I could understand. Because most of the parts are Samsungs.

14. steelicon

Posts: 318; Member since: Apr 02, 2011

Apple iTab?

16. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Which parts? Can you list all the parts in an iPad and what percentage are Samsung made?

20. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

of the new ipad? the chip the memory the screen (one of multiple screen partners if i remember right) pretty much everything but the bezel and GPU, taco.

21. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Isn't the GPU included in the chipset? If so, then only the bezel isn't made by Sammy.

25. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the GPU is PowerVR, which is then delivered to samsung to include on the chipset. its not actually made by samsung themselves. What taco doesnt ever realize, is that if samsung ever decided to play hardball and not renew their contracts with Apple, Apple would be reduced to using companies like Hauwai to manufacture their ipad chips, as so few companies can handle the volume.

23. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

The over exaggeration is the only real thing made in the new ipad by apple!

10. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 966; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Customers that aren't "power users" or "techie" tend to hear the name iPad and assume that any tablet is an iPad. That name has practically become a household name, but not all customers know exactly what an iPad is. They see any tablet and call it an iPad. Granted, these are the customers that are better off with a basic phone rather than a smartphone, but they do exist. I highly doubt Apple would allow any company to use the name iPad.

11. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Everything Apple has to be on iPhoneArena. We all know that already :P

12. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i wouldnt be so worried about samsung using the iPad name as much as chinese knock offs. If Proview can successfully maintain the ipad trademark, either Apple will have to bow to them for royalties, or they wont, and the next day the market will be flooded with knock offs all putting the ipad name front and center. Anyone that isnt aware that ipad is a specific apple item and not a generic term for tablets will be at risk to buy a knock off without realizing it.

13. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Generically coined terms become cool when you add a lower case 'i' as a prefix... much like the suffixes of -oid in the 80's and -izzle in the late 90/00's.

15. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Proview

18. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Let us speculate about the new name that the iPAD will be given.... aPAD.

19. gp284

Posts: 120; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

Some people are just ignorant

22. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

iPad will remain for Apple Proview will get screwed by Apple's layers

24. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

IF ProView wins their trademark fight in China, then Apple will need to decide how valuable the iPad identity is in China. If they could use say, iPod Touch XL in China and iPad everywhere else, then ProView gains nothing. If iPad in China is critical to Apple and ProView wins the trademark fight, then it is time for Apple to open up its checkbook.

27. EarnYourLeather

Posts: 87; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

I'm glad someone still sees this product for what it is: an "iPod Touch XL."

26. jskrenes

Posts: 209; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

I doubt that Samsung will make an "iPad," since there is another company in China that says they own the trademark, not Samsung. Plus the other company couldn't sell their product as being an iPad outside of China. They'll likely settle for cash.

29. bvalde09

Posts: 191; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I have a friend of mine who bought a chinesse generic tablet which was running android 2.2 and she called it "Ipad". I looked at her and I told her this is a Tablet not an ipad anyways she got a playbook now and from time to time she still called it an Ipad. I think that people who arent over the tech they use teh work ipad to describe a tablet. I agree with the article

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