Apple’s “Vision Pro” Faces Trademark Uncertainty
During Apple’s recent WWDC23 developer conference, the tech giant officially unveiled its highly anticipated spatial computing headset, the “Vision Pro.” Integrating both virtual reality and augmented reality features, the innovative device is set to make its debut in the United States early next year. However, Apple might encounter an unexpected hurdle in the Chinese market due to a prior trademark registration by Huawei.
According to the China Trademark Network, Huawei successfully registered the “Vision Pro” trademark on May 16, 2019, well before Apple’s announcement. The trademark protection granted to Huawei extends for a period of ten years, from November 28, 2021, to November 27, 2031. It falls under International Classification 9, which encompasses various goods and services such as LCD TVs, head-mounted virtual reality devices, and radio equipment.
Consequently, Apple’s use of the “Vision Pro” name in China may potentially infringe upon Huawei’s trademark rights. This situation raises concerns that Apple may need to launch its headset in China under a different name or enter into negotiations with Huawei.
Notably, Huawei’s registration of the “Vision Pro” trademark was not specifically aimed at Apple. Instead, it appears to be related to Huawei’s existing product line. Huawei has previously released two products with “Vision” branding: Vision Glass, its first smart viewing glasses, and the Huawei Vision smart screen series.
It is possible that Huawei reserved the “Vision Pro” name for its smart screen series, given that Huawei may have had no prior knowledge of Apple’s plans to launch a product bearing a similar name. As of now, Huawei has not made any official announcements regarding the development or release of its mixed reality (MR) headset products.
Apple’s potential trademark conflict with Huawei in China presents a challenge for the company’s Vision Pro headset launch. To avoid infringing upon Huawei’s trademark rights, Apple may need to either use an alternative name for the device in the Chinese market or engage in negotiations with Huawei to obtain the necessary permission for the use of the “Vision Pro” name. The specific details of any potential negotiations or alternative naming options are currently unknown, and it remains to be seen how the companies involved will resolve this trademark uncertainty.