According to a search on the China Trademark Network, Huawei successfully registered the Vision Pro trademark on May 16, 2019, a significant four years prior to Apple's product unveiling. The registered trademark number for Vision Pro falls under international class 9. It grants Huawei exclusive rights to the trademark from November 28, 2021, to November 27, 2031, encompassing various products and services, including LCD TVs, head-mounted virtual reality devices, and radio equipment.
Huawei's Vision Pro trademark registration is not directly related to Apple. Instead, it aligns with Huawei's existing product lines, including the Vision Glass smart viewing glasses and the Huawei Vision Smart Screen series. This suggests that Huawei may have registered the Vision Pro trademark in anticipation of future additions to its Vision Smart Screen series, rather than specifically targeting Apple.
Potential Scenarios for Apple
Apple now faces several possible scenarios as it navigates this trademark predicament in China. One option is for Apple to opt for a rebranding strategy, choosing a different name for its headset in the Chinese market. This solution would likely be the simplest and most efficient approach, enabling Apple to sidestep any potential legal disputes and launch its product without delay.
Alternatively, Apple may choose to engage in negotiations with Huawei to secure permission to use the Vision Pro trademark in China. While this path could be more intricate and time-consuming, it may allow Apple to retain the name it has already established for its headset.
The third and least desirable option for Apple is to forgo launching its headset in China altogether. This decision would carry significant consequences, as China remains one of the world's largest and most influential technology markets. By abstaining from the Chinese market, Apple would avoid any legal entanglements but would lose the opportunity to tap into a lucrative consumer base.
The Importance of the Chinese Market
The Chinese market holds immense importance for technology companies worldwide due to its vast consumer base and its status as a global tech hub. Apple has long recognized the significance of China, as evidenced by its extensive investments in the country and the establishment of numerous retail stores.
With the mixed reality industry poised for exponential growth, China's role as a key market cannot be underestimated. Consumers in China have shown great enthusiasm for innovative technology, making it a vital target for companies like Apple. Regardless of how the company decides to proceed with the current roadblock, Apple must navigate this trademark hurdle strategically to maintain its brand integrity and capitalize on the immense potential of the Chinese market.