May 01 2012

What If It Isn't Called the iPad Anymore?

A Chinese display manufacturer has won the latest round in its dispute with Apple over the iPad name.

What’s in a name? For Apple and its iPad tablet line, it could be millions of dollars.

Apple has been locked in a legal battle with Shenzhen Proview Technology, a Chinese display manufacturer, over the rights to the iPad trademark in China since the Asian firm filed a lawsuit to prevent Apple from selling the product under the iPad name in China.

The latest round seems to be going in Proview’s favor, according to a report from Reuters, as a senior official with the country’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce said that the trademark rightfully belongs to Proview.

What does this mean for Apple? It could mean that the company will be forced to settle with Proview in a huge payout, which some reports claim has been the company’s aim all along. Or it could mean Apple has to change the product’s name in China.

But Apple has already built and earned so much market share with the iPad product name that it’s difficult to imagine the company parting with it.

We’ve talked about nefarious hackers stealing corporate identities, but losing a corporate or product identity in court can be just as damaging. This case highlights why it's important to make sure your business has all of its trademark, patent and copyright filings in order.

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