Apple gets its lawyers out, goes after iPad 3.com

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It’s becoming even more difficult to predict what that fruity company will do next. Early this year, we were all waiting in anticipation for the iPad 3. At the launch, we found out that we were calling it the wrong thing: Apple had decided the new iPad was not the iPad 3, but just the new iPad. So why on earth does it want to become the owner of iPad3.com?

For the same reason it owns iPhone5.com and is often accused of patent-trolling: to protect its intellectual property. Fusible reports that the law firm which deals with Apple’s patent and copyright cases has taken over the domain after lodging a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on 29 June. The record now states that the domain is owned by the firm (Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton) — even though there hasn’t been a judgement on the dispute as yet and it’s still listed as an active case. That was fast.

The site is already down even before the firm transfers ownership to the tech giant. It’s interesting that while it doesn’t own iPad2.com or even iPad.com, Apple decided to sic its legal army on a domain that doesn’t even technically reflect the name of its product. It obviously isn’t scared of protecting its intellectual property: after all, it reportedly spent US$100-million on legal fees last year and it recently paid out US$60-million to a Chinese company to secure the rights to the iPad name in the country. But if it’s looking to control the .com domains for every future iPad, it’s in for a long battle: pretty much every domain from iPad4.com to iPad25.com has already been registered.

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