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Monday, January 30, 2006, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)

Apple \"Mac Pro\" trademark filing surfaces

Sticking with its recently-uncovered practice of filing trademarks for unannounced product names through overseas trademark and intellectual property offices, Apple Computer late last year sought a trademark on the phrase "Mac Pro" from New Zealand's Intellectual Property Office.

Speculation based purely on the filing itself would suggest that Apple may be considering a re-branding of its Power Mac line of professional desktops later this year when it introduces the first models based on Intel processors. The company recently renamed its PowerBook line of professional laptops "MacBook Pro" in a effort to leverage and better distinguish its "Mac" trademark and brand in the personal computer market.

In the filing, dated November 18, 2005, Apple broadly describes "Mac Pro" as "computers; computer hardware; computer software; computer peripherals; notebook computers; laptop computers; tablet computers; computer servers; handheld computers; mobile computers; hard drives; audio speakers; speakers for computers; radios; cameras; video cameras; telephones; mobile telephones; personal digital assistants; electronic organizers; electronic notepads; magnetic data carriers; telephones; mobile phones; computer gaming machines; microprocessors; memories boards; monitors; displays; keyboards; computer input devices; computer cables; modems; printers; parts and accessories for all the aforesaid goods." The trademark request is still under examination.

Details pertaining to Apple's forthcoming updates to the Power Mac line have been far and few between. Perhaps the most interesting and reliable piece of information has come from sources who last year told AppleInsider that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company had tapped industry heavyweight Intel to help design the computer's logicboard inside Intel's Oregon division.

Earlier this month, AppleInsider was first to reveal that Apple had begun filing for trademarks on unannounced products through overseas offices. Two interesting trademark filings that surfaced in Hong Kong reference an 'iPod Boombox" and a device or service called "iPod Hi-Fi."

The trademark filing for "Mac Pro" was first noted in a report on TheStreet.com, which takes a closer look at Apple's practice of filing for vital trademarks overseas before it does so in the United States.