Apple has threatened a Dutch tablet manufacturer with a lawsuit about the name nPad. The Dutch Windows 7 tablet is no longer available, and is looking for a new name.
Apple claims the name nPad infringes on its trademarks, and has ordered the manufacturer to choose another brand name. The Dutch tablet is now no longer available under that name. Founder Hugo Leijtens of the Dutch manufacturer Nexocial reveals this to the Dutch ict-newssite Webwereld. The threat from Apple explains why the company website has been offline for some time now and why the tablet is no longer available.
The nPad was one of the first tablets on the market that would compete with the Apple iPad. The Dutch device garnered a lot of media attention when it was launched this summer. Before that, the unit was on display at CeBIT in Hannover, where Webwereld spotted it.
Shortly after the launch Leijtens had a disagreement with his distributor and in august he received the threatening letter from Apple. The iPad maker forbids the use of the word 'pad'. "I'm sure the name 'pad' is not protected, it was used back in 1996 in Star Trek. Furthermore, several companies, amongst whom Asus, use that name for their tablets", says Leijtens. However, he backed down from a legal fight against Apple.
The nPad has not yet found a new name. Up until now, only a hundred nPads have been sold which are being used in pilots at large companies. The Dutch Windows 7 tablet, which has it's own user interface, is meant for business use. It is designed to connect to the Nexocials Enterprise 2.0 platform which is based on Microsoft's collaboration software Sharepoint.
Leijtens is considering teaming up with a large manufacturer. He states that the market for consumer tablets is already starting to get crowded. "In China there are many, many clones." According to Leijtens there are still oppurtunities in the business market.