Apple Reins in the “i”

Japanese technology company Fujitsu officially ceded its trademark rights in the “iPad” mark to Apple, just in time for the worldwide release of the much anticipated computer tablet.

Fujitsu originally registered the iPad name with the USPTO in 2003 for a handheld retail scanner, which was primarily used by retail clerks to keep inventory data, scan barcodes and other business applications.

Apple has had ongoing difficulties in its efforts to rein in the entire family of “i” marks and has been embroiled in trademark disputes with other companies including Cisco Systems, which launched a product called “iPhone” prior to Apple.

The Siemens Corporation of Germany also uses the mark “iPad” for small engines and motors; and Swiss corporation STMicroelectronics has registered “IPAD,” as an acronym for its “Integrated Passive and Active Devices.”  In a non-technology environment, a Canadian company also produces a line of bra inserts and shoulder pads called “iPad.”