Washington (AFP) March 26, 2010
Japan's Fujitsu has ceded rights to the "iPad" name to Apple, just in time for the tablet computer from the California company to hit US stores next month.
Fujitsu agreed last week to assign over all rights to the iPad name to Apple, according to US Patent and Trademark Office records.
Fujitsu originally registered the iPad name with the Patent and Trademark Office in March 2003 in connection with a handheld scanner for retailers made by the Japanese company.
The Patent and Trademark Office records, obtained on Friday by technology blogs and PatentAuthority.com, show that the iPad trademark was assigned to Apple on March 17.
The details of the transaction between Fujitsu and Apple were not available.
The iPad is to go on sale in the United States on April 3.
Fujitsu's "iPad" was launched by its US subsidiary in 2002 and was used by retail store clerks to keep inventory data, scan barcodes and manage business operations.
Apple has been embroiled in trademark disputes with other companies before, including Cisco Systems, which launched its "iPhone" before Apple. The two companies settled the dispute in 2007, agreeing to share the name.
Germany's Siemens also uses the trademark "iPad" for small engines and motors and the Swiss-based microchip maker STMicroelectronics has reportedly registered "IPAD," short for "Integrated Passive and Active Devices."
In Canada, the Ontario-based company Coconut Grove Pads Inc. has since 2007 made a line of bra inserts and shoulder pads called the "iPad", according to the Globe and Mail daily.
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