After much speculation on potential names, Apple’s mixed reality glasses have finally been christened – Vision Pro. Not everyone is a fan of the name, however, a bigger problem could surface in China.
China is an indispensable market for Apple, so it is assumed that they would be launching their mixed reality glasses there too, although that might be a few months down the line. Nevertheless, they may encounter an issue they likely didn’t consider when approving the name “Vision Pro”. It appears that this name was already trademarked, and it was done so by Huawei four years ago.
Huawei already trademarked the name
Recent research conducted by the China Trademark Network found that Huawei successfully registered the Vision Pro trademark on May 16, 2019, nearly four years ahead of Apple’s product announcement. The registered number for the Vision Pro trademark is 38242888, and it falls under international class 9. The exclusive rights to this trademark extend until November 27, 2031, covering devices such as LCD TVs, head-mounted virtual reality devices, radio equipment, and more.
Huawei already has two product lines associated with the term “Vision”: Huawei’s first smart glasses, Vision Glass, and the Huawei Vision Smart Screen series. It’s possible that they registered the Vision Pro trademark with potential additions to the Vision Smart Screen series in mind.
So, what can Apple do in this predicament? Well, Gizmochina outlines a few possible scenarios. One option is for Apple to simply rename the headset for the Chinese market. This is likely the easiest solution, and it could help them avoid potential legal issues. Another option is for Apple to attempt to negotiate with Huawei over the use of the Vision Pro trademark in China. This could be a more complicated and time-consuming process, but it could potentially enable Apple to retain the name.
Lastly, of course, there’s the possibility that Apple decides not to release the headset in China. However, this seems rather unlikely given the significant loss it would imply as the Chinese market is one of the largest and most important in the world. However, this route could entirely sidestep any legal complications.
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