USPTO rejected "PalmPad" trademark in October | webOS Nation

USPTO rejected "PalmPad" trademark in October 130

by Dieter Bohn Tue, 25 Jan 2011 1:06 pm EST

Wondering why we're seeing a smorgasbord of trademarks from HP that could be related to their upcoming tablet when they filed for the perfectly good mark "PalmPad" back in July? Perhaps it's because that mark isn't so perfectly good. The USPTO rejected the application back on October 13th, 2010 and while HP still has 6 months from that date to appeal, perhaps they've decided that hedging their bets is the best course.

Why did "PalmPad" get rejected? Apparently it's too close to several other trademarks and so could cause confusion:

"Registration of the applied-for mark is refused because of a likelihood of confusion with the marks in U.S. Registration Nos [lists 5 registration numbers]."
"Trademark Act Section 2(d) bars registration of an applied-for mark that so resembles a registered mark that it is likely that a potential consumer would be confused or mistaken or deceived as to the source of the goods and/or services of the applicant and registrant."
"Applicant’s mark PALMPAD is similar to the registered marks PALM because applicant’s mark contains the entirety of the registered marks. Simply adding the term PAD to its mark does not differentiate the marks sufficiently to overcome the striking similarity created by applicant’s use of the registered mark PALM in its mark. The mere addition of matter to a registered mark generally does not obviate the similarity between the marks nor does it overcome a likelihood of confusion under Trademark Act Section 2(d)."

"Registration of the applied-for mark is refused because of a likelihood of confusion with the marks in U.S. Registration Nos [lists 5 registration numbers]."
"Trademark Act Section 2(d) bars registration of an applied-for mark that so resembles a registered mark that it is likely that a potential consumer would be confused or mistaken or deceived as to the source of the goods and/or services of the applicant and registrant."
"Applicant’s mark PALMPAD is similar to the registered marks PALM because applicant’s mark contains the entirety of the registered marks. Simply adding the term PAD to its mark does not differentiate the marks sufficiently to overcome the striking similarity created by applicant’s use of the registered mark PALM in its mark. The mere addition of matter to a registered mark generally does not obviate the similarity between the marks nor does it overcome a likelihood of confusion under Trademark Act Section 2(d)."

Yep, the marks that are apparently too close for comfort include "Palm OS," "Palm Pre," "Palm" and its various logos, and "Palm webOS." Ouch.

Source: USPTO; Thanks tons to JohnLBurger for the catch!



What ?! I don't get it... its too close to its OTHER Trade marks?!
Oh yeh... FIRST POST!

That is the stupidest rejection I have ever heard. There are so many products out there with similar names that it is ridiculous. Oh well I guess. Hopefully the Touch Pad name works out.

So my kids can't have my last name, because that would be to similar to my last name? Gotcha!

That's the silliest thing I've ever heard. Here are some suggestions:

palm|pad (lower case)

Well, did you trademark your own name? Didn't the USPTO reject the trademark because it was too similar to another trademark?

The thing is, all of those Trademarks are owned by Palm, who is now owned by HP. I don't know much of anything about trademarks, but I would find it rather ridiculous if you could infringe on your own trademark...

They rejected the trademark because it was too close to another trademark.. which is owned by the company applying for this new trademark...

Normally, when they deny a trademark it's because another company has a already existing trademark that is too similar, not because the SAME company has a similar trademark.

My comment was mainly to show why the whole name thing won't apply to naming your kids...

It was a joke. Please disable your sarcasm filter!

I love "webO'Pad." Thank you. :)

I want to see someone use the word PADD but that would infringe on Star Trek The Next Generation. :)

Verizon licensed DROID. No reason someone couldn't license the use of PADD.

My interpretation is that there is no need to grant a Trademark because HP/Palm already owns similar names and anyone using Palm(anything) would be infringing upon existing trademarks. SO, in actuality, the patent office is saying it's not worth their time.

Using the word Palm in any "mark" would constitute a striking similarity, which would automatically be a trademark violation.

But, doesnt hp own all of that now? Y does that matter?

I concur. After their acquisition of Palm, HP has cleared enough hurdles now to perforate the market with the next wave of HP branded, "WebOS" devices and support services.

And *that* is part of the nonsense of the USPTO. No one even bothered to check, oh hey, HP owns Palm now, of course it's fine for them to use "PalmPad." Dumb. Honestly, that particular branch of bureaucracy is in serious need of an overhaul.

...or abolition.

Neither of you have any clue. The reality is HP has the duty to inform the Trademark Office that it has acquired Palm, not the other way around. Until an owner or new owner updates is records, refusals will be issued. The Trademark Office is a pro-business public service that actually creates a budget surplus through fees to applicant's and uses ZERO federal funds. Think and research before you post.

It doesn't matter that HP owns the "Palm" trademark? I don't understand. Or, would HP have to register a similar trademark under the Palm subsidiary?

Strange they surely own the palm brand and the other palm marks? Maybe its incase of a sale or something and HP want to own what ever they call there consumer tablet line?

iPod? iPad? iPhone? How they hell did those happen then?

Not that I wanted PalmPad as a name anyway...can we just have a product without such obvious terms as Touch, pad, slate, and whatever.

Seriously. What's with all these "PCs" and "laptops" and "notebooks" too.

that's what I was thinking... Maybe those who make the decisions own iStocks. ;)

My thought exactly. i anything is acceptable, but palm something is not? Makes no sense to me.

Yeah, if those are all OK, let's have an iPALM just to f*ck with them.

I do vaguely recall Intel tried to trademark "i" things, but got rejected.

iPod is waaaay to close to iPad then right?

One vowel change makes it completely different.

I assume that should Apple try to register for an ApplePad, it would then be rejected?

Yeah, sure. If they would try to register ... say ... "AppleTalk" or "AppleShare" then it would ... wait a minute!

It's most likely a technicality causing the refusal to be issued; if Palm has not yet assigned ownership in the Trademark office records to HP of the prior trademark registrations or HP has to show it has acquired Palm in response, and thus, there is unity of control over all of the marks by HP.

HP bought Palm for its intellectual property. The fact of the acquisition simply has not caught up to the Trademark Office records yet. So, if all the cites are Palm owned marks, the refusal will eventually be withdrawn. Yeah, I am a lawyer.

Makes sense!... Wait, does that mean I can't be "Palm Junky"?!?!?

So you mean this is one of those cases where common sense never enters the room? Did the TO have no one who turned on a TV or browsed the Web in the past few months? how could they not already know about the sale? Wouldn't the sale itself mean that HP owned the trademarks?

Not necessarily. It is theoretically possible that HP could have purchased only some portions of the company. That doesn't seem to be the case, but news stories are not a reliable enough source for the USPTO to base a trademark decision on.

Seemingly stupid, indeed, but not entirely unexpected. One would think that if reading the rule on its face is the only analysis, once the mark PALM existed, there could be no such thing as PalmOS, Palm Pre, Palm Pixi, or Palm Anything Else. I do wonder if this is like other government bureaucracies which always default to denial and then reconsider on the appeal. For example, such seems to be the norm with the Social Security department, where initial claims are regularly denied and it is expected that one has to appeal to actually accomplish anything . . . or will just go away.

I am almost certain its just that HP's ownership of Palm has not yet been made of record for all of these registrations. The Trademark Office doesn't change records based on corporate acquisitions. HP has to record those transactions with the Office. Thus, trademark owners are actually protected unless changes of ownership to marks are filed in the Office by the parties involved. HP should have done that months ago. Blame HP, not the office doing its job protecting the owner of the registrations in the records of the Office.

Good point, but if that were the case, then HP needs better corporate counsel over intellectual property. But, if you read the statute, it does not recognize ownership (or lack thereof) as an element needed for denial. In theory, the TM office SHOULD reject Company A's application for the name Widget for a devise with a certain purpose if even they already own the mark of Widget for a different devise with a completely different purpose. The purpose of the statute is more to protect the consumer, rather than the company.

I have to disagree. The purpose of the statute is to provide a business development incentive and protection for trademarks to entities that have invested their time and money creating goodwill under particular trademark or service marks with consumers as the source of a particular product or service. Thus, keeping an accurate chain of title to ownership of these rights is crucial, and this may be where HP has fallen short at the moment by not updating ownership records of Palm marks it acquired in the acquisition.

Source confusion protection to consumers is one of the principle goals of trademark likelihood of confusion refusals being issued, but the first priority is to protect the registrant of the prior mark since the registration is primae facie evidence that consumers already view the registrant's mark to indicate a single source of the goods or services. Both consumers and registrants benefit from rejection of similar marks for similar goods or services.

Just like everyone else, I don't get it. I WOULD get it if HP hadn't bought Palm, Palm was still its own company, and HP was now trying to apply for a PalmPad trademark. That would make perfect sense.

But denying HP a trademark because it makes use of another of their own trademarks?

Oh, and how did Apple get away with trademarking "iPad" when HP has had a trademark on "iPaq" since the beginning of time? That not too close or what?

I would've liked the PalmPad name much more than the HP TouchPad name that is now more or less certain to be used. Oh well. I'll still buy one as soon as I've got the money :P

gubmint in action.

Then if Apple tried to register ApplePad, it too would be rejected?

Guys... don't you get it??!! HP bought PALM do do the Richard Gere Pretty woman thing. Buy the company and use it in peices.. HP only wanted the intellectual property of WEBOS.

P.S. And you won't get any phones out of the deal either. Tablets, PC's Printers. Oh.. and Toasters too.

This is just plain wrong. Multiple phones are expected at the February 8th announcement.

Don't feed the troll!

Would LOVE to know where you have heard that from any news outlet. Sorry the only leaks have been on the pads (ooo, that sounds bad ;-) ).

Initial rejections of applications are common. One cannot draw any conclusions about them until and unless the application is abandoned. {Jonathan}

why does everything have to be "pad" or "slate"? why not move away from everything apple coins and start your own naming convention?

besides, I think that the uspto is being ridiculous. They're saying palmpad is way too close to palm and can confuse customers? So how did apple get away with "ipad" and "ipod"?

So in essence the person reviewing the request was unaware that PALM is now owned by HP and therefore thought that HP trying to use PALMPAD was potentially infringing on PALM's trademark. Or is it simply that since PALM is a subsidiary it has to file for any PALM related marks itself because of some bureaucratic paperwork necessity.

The Trademark Office records are a public record and can be searched by anyone. Go to and see for yourself. The trademark examining attorney probably issued the refusal because ownership of the registrations has not yet been assigned to HP. Corporate acquisitions reported in the media should be irrelevant; only the ownership records of the Trademark Office control, and they can be updated to reflect current ownership for the refusals to be withdrawn.

It's just a speedbump people, don't sweat it.

I'm not buying one now...who am i kidding...of course I am!

that's blows I wanted a palmpad

My reaction to this is that HP wins no matter what. If they'd received the trademark, then they have ammunition to sue anyone who uses it. But the rejection is essentially all the evidence that they need if someone else tries to use "PalmPad". They'll simply whip out the rejection and a lawsuit saying, "We own that. See the USPTO even says that it's too close to Palm to be distinguished. Use something else or pay us."

I don't think HP/Palm loses in this deal. But, of course, IANAL.

I, too, ANAL.

But only with one special lady.

(and yes, I Do Know What The Acronym Means. Or, for the sake of brevity, IDKWTAM.

Acronyms make words: scuba, aids, etc.

Intialisms are just combinations of letters, such as ufo, wtf, nws, idkwtam, etc.

Well they better keep brainstorming because those other names aren't very good.

Read another way, PalmPad is already protected by the Palm trademark and no additional trademark is necessary. Anything by a competitor close to Palm or PalmPad would be rejected and would be an infringement on the pre-existing Palm trademark. Personally, I think the ruling is a bit narrow and that there would have been no harm to award a trademark to Palm for the PalmPad. The risk of consumer confusion in this instance is not between competing companies (the purpose of trademark legislation) but a business risk of confusion among various Palm products that HP can choose to run as a matter of business judgment.

But don't miss the point that HP is free to use PalmPad as it is already protected by the Palm trademark.

Whether they will or not, I don't know. I like the TouchPad name because it lines up with the Touch to share unique feature and Touchstone charging. Regardless of the product name, I'll bet both HP and Palm appear on the device. Still have to rope in and keep Palm loyalists.

"Read another way, PalmPad is already protected by the Palm trademark and no additional trademark is necessary"

Brilliant thinking. I didn't even think in that general direction, but you're absolutely right.

The fact that the trademark got denied doesn't mean they can't use the name for a product.

Anyone can use any name they want for a product in commerce. The issue is whether or not they have evidence to go to court and stop someone from using their trademark or a similar trademark for similar goods.

A federal trademark registration is primae facie evidence in court that consumers consider that trademark a source indicator for the particular goods in the trademark registration record.

That's the point of getting a trademark registration; it helps fight infringement by third parties.

Exactly - but if HP can't get a trademark on "PalmPad" because it's too close to their own trademark of "Palm", I want to see anybody try and stop HP from using that trade name.

Unless HP tries to stop itself from using it.

Which will happen if you listen to the trolls whose mantra since the buyout has been "HP only bought Palm to kill it off!"

"Read another way, PalmPad is already protected by the Palm trademark and no additional trademark is necessary."

Are you sure about that? If what you say is true, why would they be applying for the trademark in the 1st place?

If HP can't get this ruling overturned by Feb 9th, I'm jumping ship to the patent office website. That will teach them a lesson!

The reason it was rejected is because they used the entire brand name in the name of the product. PALMPAD is one word. Even though we refer to the others as the Palm Pre, Palm Pixi and Palm OS....they really are just the Pre, Pixi and OS. For PALMPAD to have worked they would have just named it the PAD. As for Apple, they create a line of products with "i" branding. These names would have got the same treatment if they were the APPLEPHONE, APPLEPOD, APPLETUNES, etc.

It still sucks though.

Not correct. It was rejected because all use PALM and HP has not recorded ownership of Palm trademark registrations with the Office yet.

I'll have to disagree. It states that they cannot use the registered trademark in its entirty and cannot simply just slap PAD onto the end. If it was trully a matter of the ownership being recorded. HP would not go through all the trouble to apply for new tradmarks.

Correct, according to the refusal, they are being refused for the entire mark applied for, PALMPAD, but the reason for the refusal is these all share the common element PALM, all for similar goods.

PAD by itself is not distinctive, so merely adding that to a common term does not obviate potential source confusion to consumers. That's why the refusal was issued. I was merely pointing out that one way to overcome this type of refusal is for HP to prove ownership of the Palm registrations with the Trademark Office in response.

Sorry sd, but rinkee is correct. Pull up the USPTO link (above, at the end of the article), and read the USPTO's letter (called an "office action") to HP. At the end of the letter, there is a section that tells HP, in effect ... "If you own all those other trademarks, then of course none of this applies. But you've got to actually record all the trademarks in the same name, and then you've got to send me [the examiner] proof that you've done so. At that point, all of my comments about conflict with those other marks will be withdrawn."

The examiner is doing her job. HP owning Palm is not enough, because that might change down the road. HP must actually own the conflicting marks in its own name (or else apply for the PalmPad trademark in Palm's name, and then Palm can let it's daddy use the name).

I'm sure HP's trademark attorney knew of this issue when the PalmPad trademark application was filed. But the trademark attorney also knew that the issue could be made to easily disappear, simply by moving around trademark ownership. No biggie.

If HP wants to use the name PalmPad, there's nothing in the response from the USPTO that would dissuade them from doing so. To the contrary, every indication is that, upon fixing the issue of where all the trademarks reside, registration of the PalmPad trademark would be a slam dunk.

That being said, there is no indication that HP has taken any action to transfer any of the trademarks in question. Palm still owns the other Palm trademarks, and is wrapping up the registration of the "Palm WebOS" trademark.

By the way, there's no application for "HP WebOS" and no protection for "WebOS" by itself.

BubbaHooska is correct. HP is to blame here for not changing the registration on Palm's trademarks when they acquired them. It's not the PTO's job to track every sale of intellectual property in the country. All HP needs to do now is submit a sworn affidavit saying that they are the owner of Palm's trademarks and the whole matter will be settled.

In the meantime, HP can go ahead and call their device a "palmpad". They're not going to sue themselves for trademark dilution.

Pretty accurate. this will go way over the heads of most hear though i'd guess. they could just read the documents though.

I couldn't agree more.

Why not call it Palm Tablet? That would be a one-syllable word followed by a two-syllable word, like Palm Pilot was.

That's too bad. I liked the name PalmPad. It's catchy. Can't they just call it that anyway?

LMAO they got blocked because they included a trademark that they own... Silly

The HP Pilot doesn't sound bad....especially for the 7" tablet

If they make the netbook, the HP Foleo might not be that far of a stretch....

I still like the HP Palmpad.....

Fascinating! This is the opposite of my understanding of the key criteria of a trademark claim. "Palm" and "Pad" being common English words could only be restricted as it refers to the specific business entity or device. However "Palmpad" being a new term could restrict use of that name for any device in the industry. Now I am confused.

I believe the key issue here is use of the term PALM, not PAD, and only in the context of the identified goods in the trademark application, not any goods in the industry. Palm is the term common to all the cited registrations. Other marks using PAD without the term PALM were not cite in the refusal.

i have always thought Palm Pinnacle was a sweet name. perhaps not for the tablet but for a phone, their hi-end phone obviously

How about - "HP PalmPad based on the novel Push by Saphirre." Do you think that would get approved.


"Tyler Perry's House of Palm"?


The government has no business interfering in this area in the fist place, much less being this silly, plausible technicalities or not.

The govt is not interfering. HP applied for a federal trademark registration with the govt, and can use this to protect its intellectual property in court against infringing third parties.

This is actually a pro-business public service offered by the federal government that helps individuals or businesses protects their rights.

Would you want someone to use your trademarks for the business you invested your time and money into and have no evidence from the federal government to support your lawsuit to stop them?

Craftsmen's and artists' identifying marks have been found on Egyptian structures from 4000 B.C. Ancient Romans and Greeks used potters' marks and other symbols to identify goods. Trademarks have been recognized in courts for as long as courts have existed. All for the protection of the busiess owners.

The first U.S. trademark statute that included even a hint of consumer benefit was adopted in 1870. About 6,000 years after the government started helping businesses with trademark issues.

If you take government out of the trademark protection business, many counterfitters will be pleased, and many businesses will be ... not.

Ridiculous. The USC code is Federal Law and trademark law was originally largely state law. In fact, government has EVERY business "interfering."

Out of curiosity, when HP bought Palm, DID they get rights to the Palm trademark? Did Palm get the trademark when they split or were they licensing it from Access?


HP PalmPad only way, still be referred to as the Palmpad.

How about - "Palm 'Apple SUCKS' Pad"?

yes, HP Palmpad an still call me "PalmPad"

HP is the corporate successor and now parent of Palm. I'm sure they own everything Palm owned pre-acquisition.

This is not a conflict between HP and Palm registrations. It is an issue of how to apply the general rule of avoiding unnecessary confusion between trademarks within the same industry. I personally think the ruling is overly narrow, but appealing administrative decisions takes time and money and the rules generally favor the initial decision. It's not just a legal question. Staying on track becomes a business decision. They might choose another name now and go back and fight the legal question to preserve future options.

I think HP will respond showing that they now own all of PALM IP, and this will all go away.

Hola si mi memoria no me falla palm pre 2 ya fue vendido de la mano de hp y porque ahi no se nego palm pre 2 y ahora niegan palmpad qu es una marca que no ha existido en palm como el palm pre. creo que deberian apelar porque quiero palmpad y no me gusta touchpad.

Gotta tell you that my first reaction was "YES!"

Please, please, please don't call it a palmPAD. What a horrible name. Give it something with dignity and class -- something forward thinking...something that sets it APART from apple.

Yes, everytime I hear iPAD, the first image in my mind is something that my dog pees on. And then women's hygiene products....Am I the only one???

Second reaction...sweet that they are considering hanging on to the Palm branding. I know I'm in the minority, but I think it is a smart move. People DO still have positive impressions of Palm and view it as an innovative company. Whereas HP is perhaps seen as a monolithic corporate giant. Just my impressions!

no sir... you are not the only one

ugh call it the Topaz. These names suck! PalmPad is ok but it seems like it is picking @ the iPad's leftovers. The palm nicknames are better than their patent names. I know they want palm of touch in the name but these are awful names. Touchcanvas? Really?

I like the word slate is sounds much more sleek lol.

I could live with Slate also.

They should call it the Pro Pad or the launch Pad pro with webos inside or The webos protouch :) which i like lol !!!!

Palm Hurricane -- haven't heard that before ;)

I think we need to not name things after hygenic products in the first place. I wish they would just stick with Topaz and Opal.

I feel a wave of people emailing uspto like the sprint attack earlier this year.

Do you think that HP may have orchestrated this as to find out what names the followers would like? Clearly they would have known that they had to file this info with the agency.

Read the actual letter from the USPTO to HP. It's a non-issue. For technical reasons, related trademarks generally must all be owned by the same legal entity -- not some by the parent and some by the subsidiary. So HP needs to simply decide to either (a) transfer "PalmPad" to Palm, Inc., or (b) transfer the other trademarks from Palm, Inc. up to HP. Either way will work fine. And the letter from the trademark office says as much in a paragraph at the end.

But, HP must do one or the other, and must then send a response to the trademark office, letting the examiner know when the transfer has been done.

The registration of the "Palm webOS" trademark is just wrapping up. Maybe HP was just waiting on that. Or, maybe they are abandoning the PalmPad name. There's no way to know until we know.

But, if HP does want to keep the PalmPad name, then the letter they received from the trademark office will not stop HP (or even slow them down) from moving forward.

There's nothing to write the TM office about. They gave a technically correct response. They did their job. HP has an easy fix ... if they want it.

your solution is to "attack" the government. You are not bright. Not to mention you're "attack" on sprint resulted in what? Uh nothing? regardless there's nothing to complain about. "orchestrated" it? What are you people thinking? Why? To what end? To waste lawyer fees? To publicly look bad? Hell HP could just send proof of assignment of the registrations. They just didn't. Regardless some of these comments are out of left field.

i love how Apple isn't mentioned in the article or the PTO's decision but half the posts mention them or something related to them. Somebody's fixated with them.

How about a PALMPhone? Oh yeah, I have one and it's a 19 month old Pre...

Serious note. My phone is holding up well and webos was way ahead of it's time so I really don't expect a huge jump forward on the os front but like a lot of people I would like some more Phone options and a couple os tweeks like a doc edit suite, printing capabilities and little things like adding someone to a meeting...

Not that I will buy one but by not even having a simple thing as a name yet... could this means this device isn't ready for prime time or introduction next month?

I like Palm|Tab

or maybe PalmtexPad or PalmPon


While I did not like the PalmPad name overly much it was starting to grow on me, but also its miles better than any of the other names HP has been throwing out.

If anything, HP should just use the name for that device anyways since Palm is in their stable. Then, if any other company tries to use PalmPad, they can't and they can sue them.

i dont see why the name PALM would be rejected for a PALM DEVICE!? shouldn't the device have the semi creator's NAME on it?

I think it's funny that we're arguing about it, when we don't even know for sure if HP ever planned on naming it "PalmPad". For all we know, Topaz and Opal could have been their intended names all along.

And we just put these people in charge of our healthcare? Lord Help Us!

So it is to close to PALM witch HP owns that is the point and that makes the people who rejected the trademark retardied.

I like palmcoconut.

HP needs a better lawyer.

You know whats dumb the HTC hero on sprint costs $150 with a 2 yr contact..and that phone came out around the time the first pre did...for $50 more you could get a Epic 4g...thats just crazy who would pay so much for an old phone like that?

With Beats audio why not call it Envy 7 and 9?

Anyone hear what they're gonna call the new HPalm Phone released on Sprints network!?... Yea... Me neither...

I like Topaz... And I believe it will still be referred to by all as the PalmPad regardless of the name HP gives it.

how bout FacePalm.. Just kidding :D

I just hope that they never use the words "Pre" or "Pixi" again. Those are words to make sales reps cringe.

Seems like the issue is with the attachement of the two words into one.

Palm is already the brand
Palm OS is TM'd
Palm webOS is tm'd
Palm ... every phone is as well

The ruling is that PalmPad without a distinction between brand and device name gets confusing for the user. Is Palm a brand or is it something that is attached to devices to give them names.

Interesting that this is something HP needs to figure out as well. If they brand it the HP PalmPad, then the ruling stands correct, it is very confusing. Is the PalmPad a Palm product or an HP product. Palm is still a brand inside of HP.

It would be like if HP named something the "HP compaqcar". All of a sudden Compaq has become a product not a brand. Very confusing for the user and I actually see the rejection now. Interesting that none of us caught it before. They could make it the HP/Palm Pad, but I doubt they'd get the "Pad" tm.

I don't think we're going to see it called the "PalmPad" because of this. If they release a new phone it will be the HP Palm Pixi 2 or something, not the HP Palmpixi 2 so the consumer would be quite confused by who is the company and brand behind the product.

For the record "PalmPad" is my favorite name, but now that I've thought about the branding issues, I'd say it is problematic. I think Palm "Topaz" or Palm "TouchPad" or maybe HP "Envy 10" or something like that. I guess keeping the Palm brand makes sense, just not sure what name makes sense. Palm "TreoPad" maybe.

This whole thing is a non-issue. HP/Palm can register the PalmPad trademark if they want to.

When HP filed the trademark application, they already knew that the USPTO would complain about the fact that Palm, Inc. owns all the current "Palm" trademarks, and is still in the process of registering "Palm webOS." Under those circumstances, HP is not supposed to register the PalmPad trademark in its own name ... HP is supposed to register PalmPad in Palm Inc's name. But they gave it a shot anyway, and the USPTO said no.

But that's not the important part of the letter. The important part of what the USPTO said is that they didn't find anything else that was a conflict. HP wasn't worried about the USPTO bringing up the other Palm marks. No ... HP wanted to see if the USPTO was going to bring up the iPad trademark as a problem. THAT's what HP really cared about.

The issue with the other Palm trademarks is an easy fix. The USPTO letter says so, at the end. It tells HP they can "overcome the §2(d) refusals through showing ownership of the cited registrations." In other words, "if you own the other Palm trademarks, just prove it, and all the stuff above goes away."

HP's trademark lawyer knew that - any trademark lawyer would know that - when the PalmPad application was filed. It's an easy fix. They probaby just didn't want to do it while the USPTO was in the middle of working on the Palm webOS trademark application, which, in October, they were.

Put another way ... The USPTO has NOT rejected the PalmPad trademark. They simply have rejected HP as the owner of the PalmPad trademark, unless and until HP proves that it also owns the other "Palm" and related trademarks.

Read the letter carefully, and read the items it refere to.

If Palm had filed exactly the same application, except showing Palm as the owner instead of HP, then the USPTO would not have sent the letter. The objections in the letter would not have applied. Unless the USPTO found some OTHER objection - not stated in the letter - the USPTO would approve Palm's registration of the PalmPad trademark.

Did somebody say ladies sanitary pads?

I don't get it, HP has registered palmpad. Doesn't matter though they went with touchpad.