Editorial

Who Owns It?

Article from Issue 137/2012
Author(s):

Trademarks receive much less media attention than patents or copyrights – at least in open source circles – but it looks like the trademark buzz might be heating up again with the recent
news that a company in China called Proview owns the name “iPad” and is preparing to throw down with Apple over the use of it. The fact that iPads are actually made in China adds urgency to this problem, with the company threatening to stop all exports until Apple settles.

Trademarks receive much less media attention than patents or copyrights – at least in open source circles – but it looks like the trademark buzz might be heating up again with the recent news that a company in China called Proview owns the name “iPad” and is preparing to throw down with Apple over the use of it. The fact that iPads are actually made in China adds urgency to this problem, with the company threatening to stop all exports until Apple settles. Like other intellectual property concepts, trademark issues can vary from the obvious to the arcane. You might think that vendors would strive for clarity and avoid the nebulous, undefined spaces that lurk within the IP landscape, but it seems that the companies with the largest and most powerful legal teams often intentionally seek out the gray areas and lay claim to no man’s land just to maximize the boundaries of their ownership.

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