What is real
is not external form.”
A district court in US has recently ruled in favor of Apple in a trademark dispute with RXD Media over the name ‘iPad’. The issue started in 2012, when RXD Media has claimed it was the first to use the name in its ‘ipad.mobi’ platform, established two years before Apple launched on the market its tablet. The recent ruling is upheld by Trademark Trial and Appeal Board which argued in favor of Apple in 2018.
RXD Media claimed that the Apple’s use of ‘iPad’ is confusing, but the judge that handled the case argued with the following reasons: “even assuming the evidence of record regarding use of IPAD.mobi, iPad.mobi, or variations employing design elements, can be considered as demonstrating use of IPAD as a standalone mark by Opposer, we nonetheless find that the term IPAD is merely descriptive of Opposer’s services and that Opposer has failed to establish that such term had acquired distinctiveness.”
So, RXD Media didn’t provide any evidence that its trademark should have been considered to be the standalone ‘iPad’, and by that, priority in the rights to the ‘iPad’ trademark cannot be assigned to them. Neither can they enforce any trademark rights against Apple.
Also, during the process, Apple submitted a counterclaim that RXD is infringing on their ‘iPad’ trademark. The same judge agreed, saying the evidences of infringement are speaking for themselves.
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