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The Apple Tablet: Will It Be Called iSlate, iGuide, Or Something Else?

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After discovering that Apple had registered iSlate.com in late 2006 (we dug a little deeper and found trademarks had been filed for ‘ISLATE’ in both the United States and Europe by a company that was most likely a dummy corporation set up by Apple), MacRumors has now discovered another possible name for the upcoming Apple tablet.

MacRumors bases its report on the filing for a US trademark for ‘IGUIDE’ by another Delaware-registered company called iGuide Media LLC, which can be linked to Cupertino by means of signatures on the documents coming from Apple’s Senior Trademark Specialist, Regina Porter.

Let’s dig a little deeper, once again.

Domain names

There’s no indication that Apple owns any domain name that contains the term ‘iguide’. The identity if iguide.com is shielded from public WHOIS records, but not by Mark Monitor, the brand protection firm Apple usually works with. The domain name iguide.net belongs to a company called iGuide Media, a marketing and design firm started by Jon Warren back in 1997 and led by a Brian Noon from 2002 to 2006, when the company was sold.

I checked a couple of other TLDs (.ca, .fr, and more) and found no indication that Apple owns any of those.

Trademarks

Two trademarks were filed for ‘IGUIDE’ by iGuide Media LLC (through a James Johnston) in the United States: a principal and a service mark, both on 18 December 2007. The description of goods and services given to iGuide Media is very similar to the one given to Slate Computing, the supposed shell company set up by Apple used to register the trademark for ‘ISLATE’, although it leans a bit more to a focus on software and services than hardware.

On the exact same day, iGuide Media LLC filed for a trademark in Europe as well: search OHIM for ‘iguide’ and you find a trademark filing that has all the Apple marks on it: the legal representative is ‘EDWARDS ANGELL PALMER & DODGE UK LLP’ (the same as for ‘ISLATE’ and ‘MACBOOK’, among others), and the priority country is Trinidad & Tobago, the same as when Apple filed for the ‘iphone’ trademark in Europe.

Noteworthy: the status history suggests that the community trademark application was registered (not filed) in February 2009, and that the full examination of the CTM application has been completed very recently, on the 18th of December 2009 to be exact.

Final thoughts

If I were betting man, I’d still be putting my money on the name iSlate for the tablet, Magic Slate for a possible peripheral, and iGuide for a service linked to the hardware device(s).

Here’s why:

- Apple doesn’t seem to own, directly nor indirectly, any ‘iguide’ domain names
– The ‘ISLATE’ and ‘MAGIC SLATE’ US trademarks were not filed for separately as a service trademark, unlike ‘IGUIDE’
– The ‘ISLATE’ US trademark was filed earlier than ‘IGUIDE’, by a different shell corporation (and the same as ‘MAGIC SLATE’)
– NYTimes editor Bill Keller’s mention of an ‘Apple slate’ device in a past speech
– According to Trademarkia, the ‘ISLATE’ trademark application was extended a second time last September, to show use in commerce
– The slightly different description for ‘goods and services’ for both Slate Computing and iGuide Media

Or, of course, we’re all wrong, and none of these names will ever be actually used by Apple. I would deem that unlikely, but we can’t know for sure.

Besides, has Apple announced that it’ll be selling a tablet computer yet?

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