updated 04:40 pm EST, Tue December 29, 2009
Casts doubt on importance of 'iSlate' name
Apple is using another shell company, iGuide Media, to hold onto a second potentially tablet-related name, reports say. It was last week noticed that Apple had claimed the "iSlate" trademark for the US and Europe, using a shell organization called Slate Computing. The front also owns the "Magic Slate" trademark, and rights to iSlate.com, though the domain is currently unused.
An "iGuide" trademark has been officially sought since at least December 2007. Classifications under the proposed trademark are said to be more appropriate for a tablet than the ones associated with iSlate. One for instance covers "computer hardware and computer software for accessing, browsing, searching, recording, organizing, storing, transmitting, receiving, manipulating, streaming, reproducing, playing, and reviewing audio, video, games, music, television, movies, photographs, and other multimedia content."
The trademark would also cover "downloadable electronic publications in the nature of books, magazines, newsletters, journals, and blogs in the fields of entertainment, sports, science, history, culture, celebrities, news, current events, politics, technology, and education," amongst other material. The Apple tablet has sometimes been described as a "Kindle killer," at least in part meant to serve as an e-book platform. The company has reportedly been in negotiations with major publishers.
Apple does not currently own any iGuide domains however, which may suggest that iGuide refers to a potential program or service, rather than a device. The trademark could also simply be precautionary, an attempt to secure rights for possible projects. Apple used the shell firm Ocean Telecom to register iPhone.org in 1999, before the original iPod came into being.