Hewlett Packard has just filed for trademark protection on the term “HP Touchpad,” and unless it’s poised for a marketing push based around its laptop input devices, we suspect that this will be yet another tablet from the venerable Silicon Valley manufacturer. The description for the filing is fairly broad, however, the meat of it clearly refers to “computer hardware, namely memory cards; computer hardware for telecommunications; computer monitors; mobile digital electronic devices; mobile computers; handheld computers; portable computers; tablet computers; personal digital assistants; electronic organizers; computer memories; telephones; mobile telephones; pagers; smartphones, videophones.”
With the company already offering a Windows-powered tablet in the Slate 500 and presumably a pair of webOS tablets in the seven- and nine-inch Opal and Topaz devices rumored for a September launch, we have to wonder exactly where the Touchpad would fit into this line up. It’s quite possible, we suppose, that just one of the webOS tablets will adopt the Palmpad moniker while the other will become the Touchpad; the HP Palmpad and HP Touchpad would seem to make a good pair, although the branding seems a bit confusing (why would only one of the two Palm models have “Palm” in its name?)
That being said, HP could possibly be looking to hedge its bets by getting into the Android game as well, or it may be pushing out a consumer-oriented version of the Slate. At this point we just don’t have enough evidence to make an informed guess here, but perhaps the company’s February 9th launch event will shed some light on the matter.