Posted by Ben Berkon on January 28, 2010 05:39 PM
Most of the world was amped for Apple’s official iPad announcement yesterday – except for one company: Fujitsu. The Japanese-based electronics company claims that Apple not only stole the idea for the iPad, but also it isn’t even first in line for the trademark rights either.
Just as a comparison, Fujitsu’s iPad – which retails at $2,000 – debuted in the United States in 2002, runs on Microsoft’s CE.NET operating system, features a 3.5-inch color touch-screen, Intel processor, Wi-fi and Bluetooth connections, and also supports Skype VoIP technology.
On the other hand, Apple’s iPad – which retails at $499, $599, $699, and $829 (depending on GB and 3G plans) – runs on a Mac OS X variant, features a 9.7-inch color LED backlit glossy multi-touch screen, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + Enhanced Data Rate (EDR), and 3G cellular is an available add-on.
The winner? Probably – well, definitely – Apple’s iPad.
While Fujitsu’s claim is legitimate, it's not the only company with an iPad product. Siemens used “iPad” for many of its engines and motors, and even Coconut Grove Pads, a Canadian lingerie company, owns the rights for “iPad” padded bras.
Fighting over “i”-based names is nothing new for Apple though. In 2007, Apple faced a huge dispute with Cisco Systems when the iPhone was released, since Cisco held the trademark for the name since 2000. However, despite the initial lawsuit, Cisco and Apple settled, enabling both parties to use the “iPhone” name for their respective products.
In all likelihood, Fujitsu’s lawsuit against Apple will go the way of Cisco’s since there are many previously existing “iPads.” Even though Fujitsu’s fight might be gallant and symbolic, it still won’t interfere with Apple’s dominance – though Apple would certainly have a hard time unseating Coconut Grove Pad’s padded bras.