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.

nk ipad
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

Crosscreek Avatar
88 months ago
Lol ...North Korea lives in their own alternate reality some where between regular reality and Trump reality.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gasu E. Avatar
88 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)
Glassed Silver Avatar
88 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)
SteveJobs2.0 Avatar
88 months ago
Offers operating system stability! Take that Android!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
retroneo Avatar
88 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)
DrJohnnyN Avatar
88 months ago
Lol. Seems legit.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

10 New Things Your iPhone Can Do in Next Week's iOS 17.4 Update

Friday March 1, 2024 1:30 am PST by
Apple will this month release iOS 17.4, its biggest iPhone software update of the year so far, featuring a number of features and changes that users have been anticipating for quite a while. Below, we've listed 10 new things that your iPhone will be able to do after you've installed the update, which is projected to arrive by March 7. When the day arrives, be sure to check Settings ➝...
Google maps feaure

Google Maps Finally Rolls Out Glanceable Directions

Wednesday February 28, 2024 2:07 am PST by
After more than a year since announcing the feature, Google Maps is finally rolling out glanceable directions on Android and iOS (via Android Police). The feature allows users to view turn-by-turn directions and a live ETA directly from their device's lock screen – information that was previously only visible when a phone was unlocked. Glanceable directions also work on the app's route...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

iOS 18 Rumored to Be Compatible With These iPhone Models

Tuesday February 27, 2024 6:31 am PST by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and thereby also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. The post was spotted by MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris, and it has since been deleted. However, this was likely because the...
Apple Maps vs Google Maps Feature

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which Is Better?

Friday March 1, 2024 7:10 am PST by
Apple Maps has been providing navigational guidance to Apple users for almost 13 and a half years now, and much has changed about the app in that time. However, according to data from Canalys, the overwhelming majority of iPhones in the U.S. still have Google Maps downloaded as an alternative to Apple Maps, which comes preinstalled on all iPhones. We want to hear from MacRumors readers. Which do...
M3 MacBook Air Feature

New MacBook Air Models Launching This March: 5 Features to Expect

Wednesday February 28, 2024 1:50 am PST by
The existing 15-inch MacBook Air arrived in June 2023, which is not that long ago in terms of Mac update cycles. However, Apple released the current 13-inch ‌MacBook Air back in June 2022. It is now the oldest Mac in Apple's current crop, having not been updated in 600 days. But rumors suggest that is unlikely to be the case for much longer. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple has...
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

OLED iPad Pro's Thin Design Highlighted in CAD Drawings

Wednesday February 28, 2024 1:22 pm PST by
Apple is working on a new version of the iPad Pro that is set to launch as soon as March, and the refresh will mark the biggest design update to the Pro lineup since 2018. Apple is transitioning to OLED displays, and the swap will allow for a major change to the overall thickness of the device. CAD drawings of the upcoming ~11-inch and ~13-inch iPad Pro models give us some insight into just...
apple tv plus banner

Apple TV+ Gains Over 50 Movies for a Limited Time

Friday March 1, 2024 6:29 am PST by
Apple TV+ today gained over 50 movies, adding to its back catalog of content for a limited time. The collection includes a large number of popular and classic titles. Subscribers can access the movies in a "Great Movies on Apple TV+" section in the Apple TV app. Some titles are also available in 3D. Movies in the collection include: 21 Jump Street 300 American Sniper Argo ...