Feeds

Chip maker cocks snook at Apple with IPAD family

Capitalising the brand?

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

You have to admire chip maker STMicroelectronics' cojones - or boggle at the company's seeming stupidity. It is promoting the word 'iPad' as both an acronym and a trademark.

You'll note that, in the sentence above, we use Apple's capitalisation, and that's the way World+Dog writes it too. Not STMicro, which capitalises the lot: 'IPAD'.

Presumably, it hopes we'll read and speak it letter by letter, as we would with, say, 'HDMI', 'USB' and 'CPU'. Apple, on the other hand, expects us to say the first letter then treat the remaining three as a word in its own right.

Incidentally, this is is how Reg Hardware treats capitalisation, borrowing the tradition established by the Oxford English Dictionary. If the abbreviation is read or spoken as a word, we only captalise the first character.

Examples include 'Ram' and 'Rom'. 'CD' is capitalised because, like the earlier examples, you say it out loud - or in your head - as discrete letters. 'CD-Rom' neatly mixes the two notion.

STMicro IPAD

There are exceptions: 'RIM', for 'Research in Motion', is a case in point. We tend to write this as 'Rim', because that's how we all say it - only a few, odd souls say are-eye-emm. But a number of readers don't like this approach, preferring 'RIM', even though it is still spoken and read as a word, because they are either used to seeing it that way in print, or because they feel it mocks their favoured smartphone platform.

But we digress. Back to STMicro, which defines IPAD, as opposed to iPad - but not 'Ipad', which looks ugly in sans serif text, and is ambiguous: is that a capital 'i' or a lower-case 'l'? - as an "Integrated Passive and Active Device".

Trademark law in most nations that have one allows multiple use of protected words, provided each case can't be mistaken for the other. No one is (hopefully) going to misunderstand a reference to a Ford Focus as a pointer to Focus magazine, for instance.

The devices STMicro is referring to are chips, but that may prove too close a relationship for Apple's aggressively protective trademark lawyers, especially when STMicro accompanies its discussion of the IPAD with a picture of a gadget, as you can see above, that looks a lot like an iPhone with some PhotoShopped additions.

The chips "reduce parts count and simplify the design of reliable, high-speed data circuits commonly used in smartphones, tablets and mobile computers", STMicro claims.

Apple, of course, had to deal with the fact that another company, Fujitsu, held the name 'iPad' among its roster of trademarks for a gadget released in 2002. Apple eventually acquired the trademark from Fujitsu, for an undisclosed sum.

Will it strike a similar deal with STMicro? Or is a 'cease and desist' letter in the post even as we speak?

Incidentally, the US Patents and Trademarks Office lists STMicro as the owner of two IPAD trademarks, but marked as "abandoned". It has also trademarked - as of 2001 - 'IPAD' in Europe. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NOKIA - Not FINNished yet! BEHOLD the somewhat DULL MYSTERY DEVICE!
N1 mini-'slab to plop into crowded pond next year
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'
Sugarcoating Android's Lollipop makes tab easier to swallow
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
VINYL is BACK and you can thank Sonos for that
The format that wouldn’t die is officially in remission
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.