Today Apple introduced "CarPlay," that will debut at the Geneva International Motor Show this week. Apple kept their true brand name under wraps until the very last moment. In June Apple introduced the new infotainment system as "iOS in the Car." Today, Apple's new branding of CarPlay takes center stage. However, did they secure their new branding? Information that Patently Apple has discovered in Europe suggests that the trademark was filed by another company as far back as May 2013 in Trinidad and Tobago as a priority filing. This happens to be the very same tactic that has been used by Apple for years. Is this other company an Apple shell company or will Apple have to negotiate to keep this new trademark alive?
Carplay Enterprises' European Filing for Carplay
Unless Apple set up a dummy company in Europe under the name of Carplay Enterprises LLC, the trademark of Carplay may not go Apple's way without a fight. The documentation that we discovered at the European Patent and Trademark Office clearly shows that Carplay Enterprises filed for the trademark in Trinidad and Tobago on May 20, 2013. They presented that information in their European Patent Office as illustrated in our graphic below.
Although the priority filing was made in Trinidad and Tobago on May 20, 2013, the European filing was only made in November 2013.
According to Carplay Enterprises European Trademark filing, the trademark was filed under key International Classes that are relevant to Apple's CarPlay as follows:
International Class 009: Computers; computer peripheral devices; computer hardware; hand held computers; tablet computers; personal digital assistants; electronic organizers; electronic notepads; electronic book readers; handheld digital electronic devices and software related thereto; handheld mobile digital electronic devices capable of providing access to the Internet and for the sending, receiving, and storing of telephone calls, faxes, electronic mail, and other digital data; electronic handheld units for the wireless receipt, storage and/or transmission of data and messages, and electronic devices that enable the user to keep track of or manage personal information; sound recording and reproducing apparatus; MP3 and other digital format audio players; digital audio recorders; digital video recorders and players; audio cassette recorders and players; video cassette recorders and players; compact disc recorders and players; digital versatile disc recorders and players; digital audio tape recorders and players; radios, radio transmitters, and receivers; audio, video, and digital mixers; audio amplifiers; audio receivers; audio decoders; car audio apparatus; earphones, headphones; audio speakers; microphones; audio components and accessories; modems; network communication apparatus; electronic communication equipment and instruments; audiovisual teaching apparatus; optical apparatus and instruments; telecommunications apparatus and instruments; global positioning system (GPS) devices; telephones; wireless communication devices for voice, data or image transmission; cables; apparatus for data storage; magnetic data media; chips, discs and tapes bearing or for recording computer programs and software; facsimile machines; cameras; batteries; televisions; television receivers; television monitors; set top boxes; computer software; computer games; global positioning system (GPS) computer software; computer software for travel and tourism, travel planning, navigation, travel route planning, geographic, destination, transportation and traffic information, driving and walking directions, customized mapping of locations, street atlas information, electronic map display, and destination information; computer software for creating, authoring, distributing, downloading, transmitting, receiving, playing, editing, extracting, encoding, decoding, displaying, storing and organizing text, data, graphics, images, audio, video, and other multimedia content, electronic publications, and electronic games; computer software for use in recording, organizing, transmitting, manipulating, and reviewing text, data, audio files, video files and electronic games in connection with computers, televisions, television set-top boxes, audio players, video players, media players, telephones, and handheld digital electronic devices; computer software to enable users to program and distribute text, data, graphics, images, audio, video, and other multimedia content via global communication networks and other computer, electronic and communications networks; computer software for identifying, locating, grouping, distributing, and managing data and links between computer servers and users connected to global communication networks and other computer, electronic and communications networks; computer software for use on handheld mobile digital electronic devices and other consumer electronics; electronic publishing software; electronic publication reader software; computer software for personal information management; downloadable pre-recorded audio and audiovisual content, information, and commentary; downloadable electronic books, magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, journals, and other publications; database management software; character recognition software; voice recognition software; electronic mail and messaging software; computer software for accessing, browsing and searching online databases; electronic bulletin boards; data synchronization software; application development software; user manuals in electronically readable, machine readable or computer readable form for use with, and sold as a unit with, all the aforementioned goods; electrical and electronic connectors, couplers, wires, cables, chargers, docks, docking stations, interfaces, and adapters for use with all of the aforesaid goods; computer equipment for use with all of the aforesaid goods; electronic apparatus with multimedia functions for use with all of the aforesaid goods; electronic apparatus with interactive functions for use with all of the aforesaid goods; accessories, parts, fittings, and testing apparatus for all of the aforesaid goods; covers, bags and cases adapted or shaped to contain all of the aforesaid goods; navigational instruments; dictating machines; electronic tags for goods; weighing apparatus and instruments; measures; measuring apparatus; optical apparatus and instruments; wafers [silicon slices]; integrated circuits; fluorescent screens; remote control apparatus; sunglasses.
International Class 039: GPS navigation services; travel and tourism information and guide services; travel route planning; transportation and traffic information; transportation services; providing a web site and an online searchable computer database with travel, tourism, geographic, and destination information, maps, travel route planning, transportation, and traffic information, and driving and walking directions; providing interactive maps; storage services for archiving electronic data; information and consultation in connection therewith.
International Class 041: Educational and entertainment services; distribution of audio programs, video programs, motion pictures, and television programs; computer-based educational, teaching, and training services; providing online computer games; electronic publishing services; providing pre-recorded audio, video, and multimedia content via wired and wireless networks; providing pre-recorded audio, video and multimedia content according to consumer preferences via the internet and other electronic and communications networks; entertainment and educational services, namely, providing a web site and database featuring entertainment-related and educational electronic publications, audio content, video content, computer software, computer games , and other multimedia content; providing educational and entertainment information; organizing and conducting live performances, sporting events, and cultural events; organizing and conducting educational and entertainment exhibitions, displays, exhibits, workshops, lectures, seminars, training, and conferences; ticket reservation and booking services for entertainment, sporting and cultural events; providing information, advice, news, reviews, and commentary in the fields of entertainment, sporting and cultural events; information, advisory and consultancy services relating to all the aforesaid.
International Class 042: Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; computer programming; design and development of computer hardware and software; design, development and maintenance of proprietary computer software in the field of natural language, speech, speaker, language, voice recognition, and voice-print recognition; rental of computer hardware and software apparatus and equipment; computer hardware and software consulting services; support and consultation services for developing computer systems, databases and applications; providing computer hardware or software information online; website creation, design and maintenance services; website hosting services; application service provider (ASP) services featuring hosting computer software applications of others; application service provider (ASP) services featuring software for creating, authoring, distributing, downloading, transmitting, receiving, playing, editing, extracting, encoding, decoding, displaying, storing and organizing text, graphics, images, audio, video, and multimedia content, and electronic publications; application service provider (ASP) services featuring software for use in connection with voice recognition software and voice-enabled software applications; providing online non-downloadable software; providing search engines for obtaining data via the internet and other electronic communications networks; creating indexes of online information, sites and other resources available on global computer networks for others; electronic data storage services; providing a social networking website; cartography and mapping services; electronic storage of data, text, images, audio, and video; information, advisory and consultancy services relating to all the aforesaid.
Carplay Enterprises' Trademark Filing in the US
Above is partial screenshot of the US trademark filing by Carplay Enterprises that was filed on November 20, 2013 as was the EU filing. The EU filing notes that it originated in Zagreb Croatia by a firm and representative: "Petošević d.o.o. Jurkoviceva – Ivan Kos."
If this happens to be a shell company of Apple's then CarPlay will sail through no problem. But if it's not Apple's shell company, then Apple will likely have to negotiate with Carplay Enterprises as there's no trademark filing by that name found under Apple in Europe or the US and even a Trinidad and Tobago priority won't likely help Apple this time around because that's been covered by the other company.
Mysteries usually open interesting questions, like, if it's an Apple shell company, then what else has Apple up their sleeve for the car industry? It would add fuel to the rumor fire about Apple's true link to Tesla Motors. A former executive of Apple's by the name of Jean-Louis Gassée is still talking about that rumor on his blog called Monday Note.
Yet for today, the only mystery that matters is whether Apple owns the trademark "CarPlay" or not. And there's no clear answer to that question at the moment.
Patently Apple presents a basic summary of new trademark filings with their associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such trademark is revealed by the U.S. and/or other foreign Patent & Trademark Offices. This category covers a few Industrial Design reports each year while others could be found in our granted patent archives. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any trademark application should be read in its entirety for further details. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.