Slate Computing, owner of the "iSlate" trademark may be a shell company set up by Apple to quietly obtain U.S. trademark protection for the name. According to legal filings, Slate Computing obtained the trademark for "iSlate" in November of 2006, and the signatory was Apple's Trademark Specialist, Regina Porter. The only real piece of information on Slate Computing that can be found online is in the description of the business found in the filing. These findings were obtained by TechCrunch and MacRumors.
According to TechCrunch, Slate Computing had also filed trademark for the term in the European Union through the same law firm that Apple has worked with in the past to trademark other product names such as the iPhone. Apple used a corporation based in Trinidad &Tobago, where Apple has registered European Union trademarks in the past, to register for the trademark.
As reported by fscklog, Slate Computing is also the owner of the "Magic Slate" trademark, which follows the same naming conventions as the latest release of Apple's "Magic Mouse."
Apple's ownership of the iSlate.com domain was originally brought to light by Mark Gurman of AppleRejectedMe.
Rumors of a potential tablet device from Apple have been swirling for many years and recent reports have all hinted at an early 2010 launch. The tablet has reportedly been the number one focus of CEO Steve Jobs since returning to his company this summer.