Feb 10

Suing Apple for fun and profit

Fujitsu iPad: no multitouch — just multibutton

Take that, Apple. Turns out Fujitsu makes an iPad too. And by my count, it has 24 more buttons than yours. Okay, so their touchscreen is a tad smaller (3.5 inches), but they did start selling this little eyesore long before iPad was a twinkle in your eye (2002). Their lawyers are currently huddling to consider a lawsuit.

Meanwhile, they’re talking tough in China too.

Hey Apple! You stole our design!

Shenzhen Great Loong Brother Industrial Co., Ltd. believes iPad is way too similar to their magical P88 Tablet PC — which itself looks way too similar to Apple’s iPhone. “We don’t understand,” says company executive Huang Xiaofang, “why did they make the same thing as us?” Some mysteries may never be solved. Yet they’re considering a lawsuit as well.

But wait, there’s more.

Sorry, it's just so confusing

Lingerie maker Coconut Grove Pads owns the right to market iPad-brand padded bras — so they’re a bit shaken by Apple’s new baby too. And they may have a case. One can only imagine the loss of income these guys would suffer as confused bra shoppers accidentally purchase an Apple iPad instead.

How times have changed. In days of old (AAPL @ $14), there just wasn’t much incentive to sue Apple. There’s only so much blood you can squeeze from a stone. But man, that $29 billion in cash reserves today looks pretty darn appetizing.

I do hope the courts find no merit in these cases. It would totally pop my bubble if I were to discover that Jony Ive found his inspiration on Shenzhen Great Loong Brother Industrial Co.’s website.

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  • Shehan

    Yup.. I think this is a good set of reasons for Apple to just change the name!.. – could it be a blessing in disguise?

    anyway.. for some reason that stupid name has sunk in now.. don’t really care about the name anymore..

    Mr. Segall, I think its time for you to come up with a few suggestions for Apple like you did in the past!.. :)

  • rd

    What are you talking about.
    This is a Trademark case.
    Fujitsu has it.
    So does the bra maker.

    Apple will settle with Fujitsu while
    the bra maker is just looking for publicity.
    Chinese are just seeking publicity as well.

  • ken segall

    I was just having a little fun. But you raise an interesting point. I can tell you from experience that most technology companies (most companies, period) will not go anywhere near a name that poses even the slightest risk. It’s basically the lawyers’ call and few ever question it. As we can see from iPad (and iPhone before), Apple doesn’t exactly work this way. Surely they’re aware of the situation before they pull the trigger. They’re just willing to pay the price to get the name they think will work best in the long run.