North Korean Company Ignores Apple Trademarks and Launches Tablet Called 'Ryonghung iPad'

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North Korea technology company Ryonghung has recently released a new tablet using the trademarked name of Apple's popular device, the iPad. The company's tablet is called the "Ryonghung iPad" and lets users read the news, work on documents, and perform other actions across more than 40 different pre-installed apps (via Gizmodo).

Tech specs for the Ryonghung iPad detail a device with 1GB RAM, an 8GB hard disk, a quad-core 1.2GHz processor, HDMI compatibility, a keyboard, and "network connection" capabilities. The advertising material details a few apps as well, relating to programs like a calculator, a health encyclopedia, a medical app, and an agricultural program.


As NK News pointed out, the heavy use of "iPad" in the device's marketing material violates Apple's trademarks.

A North Korean company is advertising a domestic tablet computer under the copyrighted name of one of Apple Inc.’s flagship products – the “iPad” – the DPRK’s latest edition of Foreign Trade magazine shows. The term “iPad” is registered as an Apple trademark on its website and while there are occasions when the company’s terms can be used, these generally need Apple’s authorization.

A different version of the Ryonghung iPad first appeared in North Korea in 2013, although then it lacked the "iPad" moniker and was called the "Ryonghung-trademarked tablet computer" by the media. North Korean versions of Apple devices have been seen in the past, with a computer bearing resemblance to the iMac showing up at a trade fair in Pyongyang in 2015. Created by a company called Blue Sky, the computer was an all-in-one device with an aluminum finish, black bezels, and white keyboard and mouse accessories.

Similarly, in 2014 reports surfaced of North Korea's "Red Star" Linux operating system and its overall resemblance to OS X at the time. The Red Star OS included a similar dock, wallpapers, tool bar, and more visual similarities to Apple's MacBook and iMac computer operating system. However, the Ryonghung iPad appears to be the first device launched out of North Korea that directly uses Apple branding.

Apple was asked if it would enter a trademark dispute with the North Korea-based company over the iPad brand, but a representative of the Cupertino company has yet to respond.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

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45 months ago
Lol ...North Korea lives in their own alternate reality some where between regular reality and Trump reality.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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45 months ago

Lol ...North Korea lives in their own alternate reality some where between regular reality and Trump reality.

I don't think the word "between" applies here. Mathematically speaking, those alternate realities are what are known as "non-metric spaces". One of the ones you mention is well-known for having a non-continuous function that only has a finite number of discrete values: such as "Yuge" and "Worst Ever".
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago
I'm no legal expert, but I'd like to imagine that Apple has no valid trademark registered in North Korea and hence this does not infringe on anything as long as it's only marketed and distributed within North Korea, no?

Glassed Silver:mac
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago
Offers operating system stability! Take that Android!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago
I would doubt that Apple has registered "iPad" as a trade mark in North Korea, and probably wouldn't be allowed to under US law due to sanctions. No common law trade mark rights would exist for Apple either, since Apple does not sell the iPad in North Korea. Therefore the name "iPad" is most likely available for Ryonghung to use in North Korea.

Ryonghung would have to sell the device under a different name in other countries. Just like Apple has to use different names in some countries - like Apple's AirMac Express ('https://www.apple.com/jp/compare-wifi-models/') in Japan.

TLDR: The North Korean company isn't infringing on Apple's trade mark rights.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago
Lol. Seems legit.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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