Apple confidently announced its new AR/VR headset's name at WWDC 2023: the Vision Pro. The Cupertino-based tech giant dazzled us with its eye-catching features, from its 3D video capabilities to its incredible eye and hand-tracking perks.
However, according to Chinese outlet MyDrivers, Apple may be forced to drop the name of its brand spankin' new device. As it turns out, Huawei already had the name "Vision Pro" trademarked with the Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration since May 16, 2019. And it has exclusive rights to the name until Nov. 27, 2031.
So now, you may be wondering, what are Apple's options moving forward?
A Huawei trademark is threatening the 'Vision Pro' name — what's next?
Huawei is putting its trademark to use for several product lines, including smart TVs and smart glasses. The trademark is also designed to encompass several product types, including radio equipment and virtual-reality headsets.
I'd be surprised if Apple made such an egregious oversight, but if the MyDrivers report holds water, the Cupertino-based tech giant may be forced to employ one of the following three solutions:
1. Negotiate with Huawei to acquire the rights to use Vision Pro. Apple may need to financially settle with the Chinese consumer electronics company to continue using "Vision Pro" for its AR/VR headset. As MacRumors pointed out, this isn't the first time Apple had to do this. In 2012, Apple shelled out $60 million to use the "iPad" trademark in China after a dispute with Proview Technology. And looking back even further Apple settled with Cisco in order to use both "iPhone" and "iOS," so Apple is willing to deal in order to use the name it wants.
2. Apple may consider changing the name in the Chinese market. If Apple plans on selling the Vision Pro headset in China, it may need to use a different name in the Chinese market to avoid trademark infringement.
3. Apple could be forced to change the name altogether. This is the most unlikely scenario in my opinion. Apple officially announced its new AR/VR headset as the Vision Pro to the masses in early June, and it would be too much of a hassle to renege on its name so late in the game.
It's more likely that Apple will try to find holes in Huawei's trademark to argue that it has a right to use Vision Pro, and if that doesn't work out, it will reach a financial settlement with Huawei to secure the rights to Vision Pro.
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Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!