A rose by any other name smells just as sweet and there is no reason to believe the above saying won’t be applicable to the iPad. For the iPad as a device would be just as functional and efficient even if it called by any other name. But why talk about a change of name of what can undoubtedly be said the hottest tablet on the planet right now? The story goes out like this:
Apple had purchased the rights to the name “iPad” from a little known company in China that specializes in manufacturing computer monitors. The deal worth £35,000 had been worked out in 2006 and since then Apple had been branding its tablets under the iPad name. However, the Shenzen Municipal Intermediate People’s Court has in a recent ruling judged that deal to be incorrect. This means that Apple faces action against them that would cost them quite a lot. The fine that has been imposed on Apple is about 10 billion yuan — about $1.5 billion which if they do not cough up would need them to change the name to something other than iPad.
Paul Schmidt, a lawyer for Baker & Mackenzie, which is representing Apple stated: “Apple faces the dual challenges of maintaining the confidentiality of the product [ …] and ensuring that upon its launch the product can be marketed under the name selected for it.”
“In order to meet the second challenge, Apple buys up global rights to its product names, but uses a “special purpose vehicle.” However, Apple’s lawyers seems to have erred a bit on teir bid to acquire the iPad name when the original deal was signed, something that is costing them dearly now.
“They had lawyers in Europe, Hong Kong and Taiwan to look through the paperwork, but they failed to spot that the trademark was registered elsewhere. They tried to claim in court this was because they could not read Chinese!” said Xiao Caiyuan, the head of the Guangdong Guanghe law firm, which is contesting Apple claims.
The final decision is to be taken by Apple. The iPad name has already made quite an impact upon the people at large and changing it would mean re-working by Apple on the fresh name that they select. They could also settle up the amount and go on using the name if they so decide or else they face a ban on selling the tablet in at least two Chinese cities — Shenzhen and Huizhou. The ban may be extended to all over China, something that Apple surely can’t afford right now.