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Avealto Launches Trademark Dispute Against Airbus HAPS Venture 

By Rachel Jewett | February 13, 2023

Rendering of an Avealto HAPS platform. Photo: Avealto

HAPS company Avealto recently launched a trademark dispute against Airbus for renaming its HAPS venture Aalto HAPS Ltd, which it argues is too similar to its own name. 

The two companies are targeting service with HAPS — high altitude platform stations, or high altitude pseudo satellites. HAPS operate in the stratosphere, much closer to Earth than satellites, and can provide connectivity.

Airbus launched the new connectivity service business in July 2022 led by Samer Halawi  to commercialize its Zephyr HAPS platform, and rebranded the company in January to Aalto HAPS, or Aalto. Explaining the new name, the company said the “A” reflects the Airbus heritage of the company; the “alt” reflects the high-altitude nature of the operation; and the “O” highlights Zephyr’s “limitless flight capabilities.” 

Avealto, established in 2013 and based in the United Kingdom, said infringement of its trademarked name will threaten its ability to raise funds and market its services. The company announced on Monday that it sent Aalto a cease and desist letter, and said that if Airbus does not stop using the similar name by April 13, it will take formal action against the company. 

Avealto also sent a letter to the U.K. Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch asking for a legal review of the rebranding. 

“The actions by Airbus and its subsidiary, Aalto HAPS Ltd, are disappointing. Their actions demonstrate a clear infringement of our trademark and have left us with no choice but to take legal action,” Avealto Managing Director Walt Anderson said. “I am calling directly on the leadership of Airbus to take action to correct this wrongdoing.”

“This appears to be a rather cynical attempt by Airbus to restrict our ability to raise funds and market our services and to stifle its competition. This would be detrimental to consumers and jeopardize the hundreds of direct and indirect jobs we are set to contribute to Britain’s post-Brexit economy once we are fully operational,” Anderson added.