Apple introduced its iPad on January 27, but Fujitsu says it's already been using the name for years. Fujitsu applied for the iPad trademark in 2003, and looks to be interested in keeping the name for itself, according to the New York Times.
"It's our understanding that the name is ours," commented Masahiro Yamane, Fujitsu's director of public relations.
While Fujitsu has an iPad on the market already, whether on not it can actually claim the iPad name as its own isn't exactly clear cut. The company's trademark filing didn't go anywhere thanks to an earlier filing from Mag-Tech for its number encryption device, and by early 2009 the U.S. Patent and Trademark office showed Fujitsu's filing as abandoned.
In June 2009, Fujitsu reactivated its filing application, and in July Apple applied for an international trademark on the iPad name. Since then, Apple has filed several requests with the U.S. Patent Office opposing Fujitsu's application.
Outside the United States, Apple will have to contend with some additional iPads, too. In Germany, iPad is the name Siemens uses for engines, and in Canada Coconut Grove Pads uses the name for its padded bras. Since those products are in different markets, Apple is less likely to run into naming rights battles.
Apple now has until February 28 to file an opposition to Fujitsu's latest claim to the iPad name.