Oops! Huawei filed for the "Vision Pro" Trademark in China back in 2019 which will likely force Apple to rebrand their Headset
A new report from a tech site called HuaweiCentral (HC) Newsroom, not a Huawei official newsroom report, states that "Vision Pro" is owned by Huawei. The report stated that "According to the patent application, Huawei’s Vision Pro trademark has registration number 38242888. This application has exclusive rights of trademark use from November 28, 2021, to November 27, 2031."
Patently Apple went to China's Mainland Patent and Trademark Office this morning to retrieve the trademark application first-hand, as presented below.
The trademark 'Vision Pro' is indeed owned by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd, Bantian Huawei Headquarters Office Building, Longgang District, Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province."
Huawei filed their trademark under International Class 9 (referenced as 901); The basics of what is covered under this class includes; "Computer storage devices; Recorded computer programs; Computer keyboards; Recorded computer operating programs; Electronic pens; Flexible flat-panel displays for computers; Stands for tablet computers; Video image printers; Downloadable computer application software; Tablet computers; Computers Software (recorded); connector (data processing equipment); mouse (computer peripheral equipment); integrated circuit card; notebook computer."
However, when you click on the "details" link related to class 901on the trademark application, it further covers a longer list of devices covered. More importantly it covers; Wearable computers, Smart Glasses; Head-Mounted Virtual Reality Devices; Wearable video displays.
On record, Huawei has a webpage describing "Huawei Eyewear" using the brand Huawei Vision. Yet we now know that they've reserved "Vision Pro" trademark for a likely future eyewear product.
Last Week, Patently Apple posted a trademark report that covered the figurative version of the trademark "Apple Vision Pro," in Hong Kong and Europe.
Considering that China is one of Apple's largest markets, it would appear that Apple's new headset brand of "Apple Vision Pro," may in fact be challenged by Huawei. Would Apple allow Huawei to sell a product called "Huawei iPhone" or Huawei MacBook etc.? Absolutely not. So Adding the prefix "Apple" to Vision Pro in text or figuratively, is likely not going to be allowed in China.
On the weekend, Patently Apple posted an IP report titled "Apple Files for Mystery Trademark 'Apple Reality' in Europe, New Zealand and more." Is this Apple's backup plan or is this for something else?
Rumors based on shell company trademark filings cover a wide range of options such as "Reality One," "Reality Pro," for the headset and "RealOS," "RealityOS," for the headset's operating system.
Unless there's some technical legal work-around available to Apple to keep "Apple Vision Pro," it looks as though Huawei has a case to stop Apple from using the trademark in China.
Mark Gurman also noted last week that there's a WWDC developer video training session wherein the rumored term of xrOS was mentioned 45 times. This would seem to indicate that Apple's VisionOS trademark was even hidden from their Engineers until the very last moment.
Whether Apple will change their branding prior to their Spatial Computer is released 2024 or decide to fight this out in court on the basis that their headset is primarily a "Spatial Computer" and not simply a VR/AR Head-Mounted device is unknown at this time. Then again, Apple didn't list "Spatial Computer or Spatial Computing" under their International Class 009 in Hong Kong. So even that argument wouldn't have a leg to stand on.
Lastly, while Huawei filed for this trademark in 2019, it still hasn't been granted as a registered trademark. Though being years ahead of Apple, I doubt that Apple will be able to stop it from being registered considering that Huawei already has a well-established eyewear product in existence today under the Huawei Vision branding.
Can Apple pull a rabbit out of their hat for this trademark? While doubting Apple isn't a wise move, this time it looks like a lost cause. Then again, stay tuned.
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