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Apple could face legal battle over naming rights for iPad device

[JURIST] Apple [corporate website] could face legal problems in registering a trademark for its new iPad tablet computer product announced [press release] on Wednesday. Since 2003, the computing company Fujitsu has been attempting to register the "IPAD" [USPTO record] mark in the US for a wireless retail computing device. Apple, however recently filed for an extension [USPTO materials, PDF] to allow itself sufficient time to prepare an opposition to Fujitsu's registration of the mark. It may be possible for both companies to register the mark [Bloomberg report], as long as Apple can successfully argue that there would not be any likelihood of confusion between its personal tablet and Fujitsu's retail device.

Apple's potential dispute over trademark rights with Fujitsu is the latest example of Apple's intellectual property issues. In October, Nokia sued Apple alleging that the iPhone contains technology that infringes 10 Nokia patents [JURIST report]. In April, Apple was found to have infringed a predictive snooping patent [Ars Technica report] owned by Opti. Inc. In July 2008, the inventor of so-called "visual voicemail" settled a patent infringement case [Reuters report] with Apple over the company's use of that function in the iPhone.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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