During the announcement of the iPad tablet, it was revealed that the name already belonged to the Fujitsu group. After negotiation, the former has given up these naming rights to Apple.
Apple announced the release of their iPad tablet on the 27th of January after months of speculation, with a lot of hope being carried on the creation of a "new" market sector (it should perhaps be stated that this is rather a renewal) based around multimedia tablets and a generation of new economical models for digital publishing.
Having said this, it should be noted that the name selected by Apple, the iPad, already belonged to another company, the Fujitsu group, who had held usage rights since 2003 in the United States after having previously launched a product going by this name.
Problem resolved Apple quickly launched a request to be able to use the name iPad in international markets at the end of 2009. During the announcement of the tablet, Fujitsu indicated that they would study all possibilities, ranging from keeping the name to handing it over.
It appears that the second option has now been negotiated, with Fujitsu ceding their usage rights to Apple in a judgement validated by the USPTO (United Stated Patent and Trademarks Office) on the 17th of March. Apple can now use the name iPad in all markets, including the United States.
During the announcement of the first iPhone in January 2007, the same problem arose with Cisco having already developed a range of IP phones going by the same name. After legal threats, the problem was resolved in a friendly manner, with Cisco accepting to cede their naming rights to the brand.