Huawei’s ‘Vision Pro’ trademark threatens Apple’s product launch

Jun 13, 2023, 4:24 AM UTC
2 mins read
Huawei's 'Vision Pro' trademark threatens Apple's product launch

Apple finds itself embroiled in yet another trademark dispute, this time over the name ‘Vision Pro’ in China. Surprisingly, it’s not the first instance where Apple has faced such naming conflicts. From its early days of the iTV clash with British broadcaster ITV to subsequent trademark scuffles involving iPad, iOS, and iPhone, Apple has weathered these storms. However, the latest challenge comes from Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, which registered the trademark “Vision Pro” years before Apple unveiled its own Vision Pro.

Apple’s departure from the “i” prefix in its device names has become a defining trend. Nonetheless, its foray into the television market faced resistance when Apple initially announced its product as the iTV. The venerable British broadcaster ITV voiced objections, leading Apple to reconsider and eventually rename it Apple TV.

Similar incidents occurred with the launch of the iPad, as Fujitsu had already licensed the name. Furthermore, “iOS” was a Cisco trademark, and even “iPhone” was initially claimed by Cisco. Apple’s tenacity and negotiation skills eventually resulted in amicable agreements, except in the case of ITV, where the broadcaster staunchly defended its long-standing name dating back to 1955.

Gizmochina recently revealed a new chapter in Apple’s naming woes. According to their findings, Huawei filed a trademark application for “Vision Pro” on May 16, 2019, in the China Trademark Network. Remarkably, this registration grants Huawei exclusive rights to the name from November 28, 2021, to November 27, 2031. The approved filing specifies the name’s use for head-mounted virtual reality devices.

While Huawei currently offers the smart headset Vision Glass and a range of devices called Huawei Vision Smart Screen, it has yet to introduce a Vision Pro product. Consequently, Apple may be required to modify the device’s name if it intends to release it in China. Alternatively, Apple could opt to exclude the Chinese market entirely, as it initially plans to launch the Apple Vision Pro exclusively in the United States.

Based on past experiences, it is probable that Apple will proceed with the Vision Pro name and eventually engage in negotiations with Huawei to resolve the trademark dispute. Apple has a track record of reaching settlements in similar cases, highlighting its ability to navigate these challenges successfully.

However, the situation with ITV serves as a reminder that not all battles end in agreement. Given ITV’s long-standing brand history, Apple faced insurmountable resistance and had to relent in that particular instance. Whether the Huawei conflict will follow a different path remains to be seen.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x