Posts Tagged ‘trademark’
Who says big business cannot be bros when it comes to hallmarks? Since Apple had no requirement for its Lightning connector to appear on “bike parts, slot devices or tachometers,” it buddied up with Harley Davidson to secure partial usage of the cycle maker’s IP for its new iDevice interface, according to recent information from the European hallmark office. That allowed it to use a name that’s sympatico with its Thunderbolt moniker, while most likely letting Harley davidson retain the rights for its heavier metal add-ons. Additionally, should Cook & co. run up against a mid-life crisis, a minimum of they’ll have quick relief on speed-dial.
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For most geeks, uttering the word “Firedock” conjures up images of this Kindle Fire-friendly speaker dock that was announced back in March.
But something interesting happened last month — Grace Digital released that very same Kindle Fire speaker dock under a different name on July 17. That by itself isn’t much to write home about, but The Digital Reader points out that Amazon now owns the FireDock trademark. A little digging reveals that Grace Digital transferred the trademark to Amazon Technologies (an Amazon.com subsidiary based in Nevada) just a few days earlier, on July 11.
So what gives? What is the Firedock? Looking at the goods and services that the trademark encompasses doesn’t provide too many concrete hints just because there are so damned many of them, but they do seem to point to an actual, physical product rather than a service. Still, it seems unlikely that Amazon would take control of the Firedock trademark just to push out something like a run-of-the-mill speaker dock (sorry Grace Digital, I’m sure your Matchstick is a real sweetheart).
Given some of the rumors about swirling around the new Kindle Fire (which may or may not have just passed through the FCC) and the stiff competition in the low-end tablet space, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Firedock turned out to be an accessory to bolster Amazon’s play for the living room. You pop the new Kindle Fire into a Firedock (naturally), run it into a television and maybe a sound system, and voila — you’ve got a tablet that doubles as a video and music hub.
Hear me out on this one. It’s no secret that the low-cost Kindle Fire is something of a Trojan horse for all of Amazon’s media services — that’s music, television shows, and movies in addition to just books. Users get a free month of Amazon Prime and its related video service when you buy a Kindle Fire (a promotion that I doubt is going anywhere), and Amazon still hopes that the trial is enough to entice people into ponying up the annual fee. What’s more, recent rumors have pegged the forthcoming Kindle Fire 2 with an HDMI-out port, which would finally allow Kindle users to display all that content on a bigger screen.
Sure, there’s no shortage of televisions and discrete video boxes that could deliver Amazon’s Prime content to a television — there’s the Boxee, Roku’s line of cute black boxes, etc. — but that requires a commitment to the concept of streaming video. Not everyone is going to have that particular impulse, but for new Kindle Fire owners (who, don’t forget, have access to plenty of free premium content for a while), the ability to pick up an accessory that extends the use of a gadget they already want doesn’t seem like much of a leap. Once those components are in place and the setup’s value is seen, it may become even more difficult not to pay the $ 79 for continued Prime service. That’s what Amazon is really after.
Beyond the revenues generated from new Prime subscriptions, a move like that could help poke at Amazon’s search-focused rival. Google’s own low-cost tablet may well exceed the company’s sales expectations, but their living room-oriented media streamer wasn’t quite ready for prime time. Still, the company is clearly making what plays it can, and Amazon may be able to throw a wrench into things. If we take the new Kindle Fire to be Amazon’s Trojan horse, and the living room to be Troy, then the Firedock may well be the guy who knocked on the gates.
Earlier this year, iPads were flying off the shelves in China– however not for the expected reasons. The slates were being removed from shops following an injunction granted to Shenzhen Proview Innovation, a neighborhood firm that had laid claim to the iPad hallmark. The injunction might later be rebuffed by a Shanghai court, restarting tablet sales while the dispute raved on. Today, Apple and Proview have related to a resolution, putting $ 60 million in Proview’s coffers and the matter to rest.
Feeling lost? Let us catch you up. Method back at the turn of the century, Proview’s Taiwan branch signed up the “iPad” trademark for its Net Personal Access Tool– an all-in-one PC that had not been unlike Apple’s own iMac. Later on, Apple would certainly acquire the worldwide rights to the name from the Taiwan branch, which presumably featured Shenzhen Proview Technology’s claim– though the Chinese vice minister for the State Administration for Market and Commerce (SAIC) would later proclaim Proview the trademark’s rightful manager. Quickly forward to today, and the 2 firms are at last settling.
According to The New York Times, Proview had sought as a lot as $ 400 million, however has agreed to settle for a lesser quantity to help it pay its debts. Either means, Apple seems to have actually already transmitted the sum, according to the Guangdong High People’s Court, evidently eager to place the conflict behind them.
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Proview didn’t have much luck taking Apple to court in the USA, but the iPad trademark saga looks to have pertained to an end in China– Apple has reportedly paid Proview $ 60 million for the rights to make use of the iPad name. A Chinese court found in Proview’s favor last year, resulting in the seizure of iPads and a potential deadlock over sales of the tablet in the country, however the two parties have now agreed to settle. An attorney for Proview informed the AP that the company had actually wished for up to $ 400 million, however that the resulting settlement deal was “appropriate to both sides.”
The Guangdong High People’s court discharged a statement stating “The iPad dispute resolution is ended, Apple Inc. has transferred $ 60 million to the account of the Guangdong High Court …
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Who knew some funky capitalization could cause so much trouble? Proview — the purveyor of that 90s-era all-in-one called the iPAD — hasn’t let up in its fight to wrestle the rights to the iPad name from iPad maker Apple. The legal antics started in China, where Proview temporarily managed to get Apple’s tablet booted off store shelves before being rebuffed by a Shanghai court — after which the company promptly brought the case stateside. It’s been all quiet on the iPad trademark front for a solid month now, but a report from All Things D indicates that the squabble is still going strong. Today the Chinese vice minister for the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) declared that Proview is, in fact, the rightful owner of the iPad trademark. The SAIC has so far kept mum about the iPad trademark spat, so its decision to break that silence is sure to carry some weight when it comes time for the Chinese higher court to hand down its verdict.
Judge: Asus Transformer Isn’t Infringing On Hasbro’s Trademark – And Asus Reveals Embarrassing Sales Stats
A federal judge has ruled that Asus’ Transformer Prime tablet does not infringe on Hasbro’s Transformers trademark, in spite of the suit actually making sense. Just “Transformer”, or just “Prime”, might have flown right by Hasbro’s lawyers without a second look — those are words, after all — but putting the two together seemed like tempting fate. As expected, Hasbro took Asus to task in December.
But the judge has initially sided with Asus, saying that people were unlikely to confuse the tablet with Hasbro properties, noting they had also waited too long to file the suit.
As a little kicker on the story, court filings have revealed that the device has produced pre-order numbers that are, shall we say, less than legendary.
It’s not entirely fair, of course, to compare a fragmented and developing ecosystem like Android tablets to the world leader, the iPad. After all, you don’t look at a new local restaurant and say “yeah well, McDonald’s has served billions.” Selling at that volume is by far the exception, not the rule. At the same time, Asus is a big company with lots of ambition in the tablet and mobile computing space, so we can at least hold them to the standard of a large and established company.
So when court filings reveal that pre-orders for this poster child for Android 4 tablets (and it does look great) total a whopping 2,000 units as of a month ago, it’s kind of a letdown. That and 80,000 going to retailers worldwide make the device seem rather minor even in comparison to other Android products like the Nook Color and Kindle Fire. Is there a space for “premium” Android devices running just plain Android? The market seems smaller than big players like Asus would like to believe — or at least it is not growing as quickly as they expected.
As for the lawsuit: it’s not over, the judge has simply rejected Hasbro’s request to have sales of the Transformer Prime device halted. The case will continue to trial, and of course Hasbro has already vowed vengeance. They have a new series of toys related to the Transformers Prime TV show coming out this month, and don’t need any pesky tablets hogging the spotlight.
The dispute between Apple and Proview over the “iPad” trademark has just gotten a lot more domestic. Proview, which owned the “iPad” trademark in several countries until they sold the rights to Apple, has been alleging shenanigans, specifically that part of the company never authorized the sale. Apple, for their part, says that everything is in order, and they have the signatures of the recalcitrant Shenzhen branch of Proview to prove it.
A Chinese court found that while the ownership of the trademark was not yet able to be settled, there wasn’t enough evidence to support a sales ban on the iPad. But now Proview has brought the court to California, alleging that Apple defrauded them of the trademark by approaching them as a fictional company: IP Application Development Ltd., or IPAD Ltd.
IPAD Ltd apparently applied to Proview for the trademark as an abbreviation of its name, and promised future products wouldn’t compete with Proview’s. If true, this is a fairly serious offense, and Apple’s ownership of the trademark could be overturned. The legitimacy of the emails (which the Wall Street Journal claims to have seen) will surely be contested, but if it’s all on the record, it could be curtains for the iPad in China — at least, unless Apple wants to pay Proview’s extortionate fees for the privilege.
The suit was filed in California on the 17th, and the China case was suspended yesterday. There is no word on when the U.S. case will go to court.
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Die-hard fans of RIM’s mobile efforts should put those BBX tattoo plans on hold, as the US Federal Court has blocked the company from using the BBX trademark, favoring the existing use by BASIS International for its software. As a result, the boys from Waterloo just announced at BlackBerry DevCon Asia that the new name for its next phone OS is BlackBerry 10. Let’s hope RIM’s plans for pulling its tablets and phones into a single unified platform are better executed than its naming process.
Time was, men could settle their disputes with glinting swords at the ready and their honor on the line. Nowadays, only the cosplaying and Comic Con attending folk alike are likely to burnish (elvish) blades, although they’re rather inapt to sully them with enemy blood. Well, unsurprisingly, Mojang head Markus “Notch” Persson’s modern day offer of a Quake 3 Arena simulated duel — his proposed method of extralegal recourse — was shot down by Bethesda, the company suing the Minecraft creator for use of the word “Scrolls” in its unreleased card game. As these are apparently sue-happy times, both parties are headed to court to battle it out, with Mojang facing the terrible repercussion of a forced product name change. From the looks of the defendant’s Twitter feed, however, it doesn’t appear the impending litigation’s breaking this Swede’s stride.