As part of Apple's announcement earlier today regarding the launch of its new iOS vehicle integration at the Geneva International Motor Show, the company revealed that it has rebranded the feature from "iOS in the Car" to "CarPlay".

Curious about whether Apple had previously sought to protect the CarPlay name with a trademark application, MacRumors has investigated the situation and determined that Apple appears to have registered a shell company by the name of Carplay Enterprises LLC on November 14, 2013.

carplay_corporate

Delaware corporate registration for Carplay Enterprises

The company has no obvious link to Apple aside from the fact that it is headquartered at 1209 Orange Street in Wilmington, Delaware, where other Apple-related companies have also been listed. The building is, however, essentially a mail stop that serves as the headquarters for hundreds of thousands of companies seeking to take advantage of Delaware's business-friendly laws.

Its occupants, on paper, include giants like American Airlines, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway, Cargill, Coca-Cola, Ford, General Electric, Google, JPMorgan Chase, and Wal-Mart. These companies do business across the nation and around the world. Here at 1209 North Orange, they simply have a dropbox.

Less than a week after its formation, Carplay Enterprises began filing for trademarks on the "CarPlay" name, with applications in Australia, Norway, and a number of other countries coming on November 19 and the United States and several more countries following a day later. Apple's U.S. application seeks protection in three classes: Computers (including handheld devices, peripherals, and software), GPS navigation, and Computer programming.

The U.S. application lists as contact information a Gmail address and an attorney by the name of Robert Friedman who has no obvious connection to Apple, while the signatory on the application is listed as "not provided", suggesting that Apple was working quite hard to cover its tracks. Prior to the introduction of the iPad, Apple was discovered to have filed for a trademark on the name "iSlate" under a different shell company, with one giveaway being that the application was signed by an Apple employee.

carplay_trademark

U.S. trademark filing for "CarPlay"

Apple's apparent efforts to protect the CarPlay name extend back even further, however, as the November trademark applications all cite a May 20, 2013 application in Trinidad & Tobago as priority. Apple commonly uses Caribbean countries such as Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica to establish trademark priority, taking advantage of filing systems that receive little attention and are difficult to search.

Apple introduced "iOS in the Car" at its Worldwide Developers Conference in early June, but it remains unclear whether that name was simply a placeholder with Apple intending all along to launch the feature as "CarPlay" once relevant trademark applications had been made throughout the world. Alternatively, Apple may have been considering several possibilities for the name and filed the application in Trinidad & Tobago to preserve that option before moving forward with the CarPlay name late in the year.

Related Roundup: CarPlay

Top Rated Comments

Rizzm Avatar
112 months ago
Sounds like something you do with your girlfriend in the backseat.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WildCowboy Avatar
112 months ago
Somebody has been watching too much "House of Cards." This isn't one of those once-in-a-lifetime stories that every investigative journalist dreams about. I think we can dial down the sensationalism a little bit.

Haven't seen House of Cards. :)

And it's just a blog story for a reason...an interesting little tidbit, nothing more.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2457282 Avatar
112 months ago
I guess it's SOP to do this for a big corporation with a big trademark. But what is the advantage? Suppose the world learned in November that "iOS in the Car" was to be branded "CarPlay"? What is the advantage in going to such lengths to hide it?

My guess is that because of all the countries and long process required to register there is a risk that if someone found out they could get ahead of apple and then register the name on their own. Later sue for money. In my imagination this is the same as domain squatting and can cost companies time and money to get it resolved. Therefore by doing this covertly, they avoid the issue and when they come out publicly, it is too late for the trolls and squatters to try and take advantage.

That is my conspiracy theory and I'm sticking to it. :D
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mrgraff Avatar
112 months ago
Wow. Talk about needlessly taking things seriously. I was only making a joke about the level of detail and careful research in the story. I certainly wasn't suggesting that everyone watches the same TV shows.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
i.mac Avatar
112 months ago
Haven't seen House of Cards. :)

And it's just a blog story for a reason...an interesting little tidbit, nothing more.

Same here. TV viewing isn't universal, and macrumors is a rumor site about apple. Cannot be taken more serious than this.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mrgraff Avatar
112 months ago
Somebody has been watching too much "House of Cards." This isn't one of those once-in-a-lifetime stories that every investigative journalist dreams about. I think we can dial down the sensationalism a little bit.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iphone 14 pro max vs 13 max 2

Camera Comparison: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:44 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce some major improvements in camera technology, adding a 48-megapixel lens and low-light improvements across all lenses with the new Photonic Engine. We've spent the last week working on an in-depth comparison that pits the new iPhone 14 Pro Max against the prior-generation iPhone 13 Pro Max to see just how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be. Subscrib ...
tony blevins car

Apple Procurement VP Departs Company After Vulgar TikTok Comment

Thursday September 29, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
Tony Blevins, Apple's vice president of procurement, is set to depart the company after he made a crude comment about his profession in a recent TikTok video, reports Bloomberg. Blevins was in a video by TikTok creator Daniel Mac, who was doing a series on the jobs of people he spotted with expensive cars. After seeing Blevins in an expensive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Mac asked Blevins what ...
Dark Sky App Featured

Dark Sky Removed From iOS App Store Ahead of Upcoming Shutdown

Wednesday September 28, 2022 4:27 pm PDT by
The Dark Sky weather app that's owned by Apple is no longer available for download in the U.S. App Store, suggesting that it has been removed ahead of schedule. Apple acquired Dark Sky back in March 2020 and has since incorporated elements of the app into the Weather app available on the iPhone (and soon, the iPad). Dark Sky remained available for purchase as a standalone weather app...
adaptive transparency airpods pro

iOS 16.1 Beta Brings Adaptive Transparency to Original AirPods Pro

Thursday September 29, 2022 1:08 pm PDT by
The third beta of iOS 16.1 that was released earlier this week expands the Adaptive Transparency feature introduced with the second-generation AirPods Pro to the original AirPods Pro. As noted on Reddit, first-generation AirPods Pro owners who also have the AirPods beta software will now see an "Adaptive Transparency" toggle in the AirPods section of the Settings app. The 5A304A beta...
tim cook malala

Tim Cook: Not Too Long From Now, You'll Wonder How You Led Your Life Without AR

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:26 am PDT by
Speaking at Università Degli Studi di Napoli Federico II in Naples, Italy, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that not too long from today, people will wonder how they led a life without augmented reality, stressing the "profound" impact it will have on the not so distant future. At the university, Cook was awarded an Honorary Degree in Innovation and International Management and also sat down for a...
iOS 16 Wallpaper Spectrum Feature

Five Wallpaper Apps to Check Out for iOS 16's New Lock Screen Depth Effect

Thursday September 29, 2022 9:08 am PDT by
One of the biggest new features in iOS 16 is a completely redesigned iPhone Lock Screen. The new Lock Screen is entirely customizable, letting you change the colors and fonts, add widgets and new wallpapers, and more to make your iPhone uniquely yours. Of course, even before iOS 16, you could customize your Lock Screen with a wallpaper of your choice. iOS 16 takes the Lock Screen wallpaper...
maxresdefault

Apple Responds to Video Testing Crash Detection Feature With Junkyard Vehicles

Friday September 30, 2022 9:11 am PDT by
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern recently traveled to Michigan to test Apple's new crash detection feature on the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Ultra. In response, Apple provided some additional information about how the feature works. Stern recruited Michael Barabe to crash his demolition derby car with a heavy-duty steel frame into two unoccupied vehicles parked in a junkyard — a 2003...
iphone 14 iphone 14 plus in hand feature

iPhone 14 Is Secretly Hiding a Beloved Mac Feature

Friday September 30, 2022 3:24 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models bring over a longstanding Mac feature, but the setting to enable it is off by default. The feature, which is actually a new accessibility option, allows the iPhone to play a startup chime like the Mac. When enabled, the sound comes alongside a new shutdown chime. The Mac has featured a startup chime since 1987's Macintosh II, and the iconic "bong"...
Hero0005

Best Apple Deals of the Week: M2 MacBook Air Hits New All-Time Low Price at $1,049, Plus Sales on AirPods Pro and More

Friday September 30, 2022 9:05 am PDT by
This week's best Apple deals focus on the AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and M2 MacBook Air, including numerous all-time low prices on these devices. You'll also find up to 50 percent off discounts on Anker and Eufy accessories on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us...
iPhone 15 to Switch From Lightning to USB C in 2023 feature sans arrow

Kuo: iPhone 14 Pro Max Popularity Could Lead to More Differentiation Between iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

Wednesday September 28, 2022 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has seen high demand for the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, which could lead the company to further differentiate the next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple could add exclusive features to the iPhone 15 Pro Max in an effort to encourage more people to purchase the larger and more expensive device. Kuo last week said that Apple asked...