In one of Apple's most unusual 5G developments so far, the company appears to have filed for a new 5G-related trademark in the Netherlands: "Apple Bald Eagle 5G", which is specifically listed as being used for mobile network services in the Benelux.
The trademark filed with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (discovered by LetsGoDigital) seems superficially legitimate, but it is definitely odd. It lists Apple at its One Apple Park Way address searching and includes an associated "figurative trademark" of an American flag with a cartoon-like shell eagle in an Apple logo – by no means Apple's style.
Filed under Class 38, trademark would probably cover Apple offering cellular service within Benelux, which includes Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. While it is difficult to show that Apple is launching its own 5G network in this area, especially under this name, it is possible that the company is actually preparing to perform 5G testing in the region, or otherwise preparing 5G services under a place name.
If it were not for Apple as the applicant for the trademark report, the idea would be easy to reject. In particular, Apple's repository representative sees himself in a residential building in Belgium, rather than on Apple's own campus or a law office. Also, the name, graphics and obvious American theme are not in line with Apple's brand standards.
But the company has occasionally used local filers and / or intentional misdirecting company names in the past to mask their purpose when making certain IP related transactions. The company registered the name "IP Application Development" to negotiate iPad trademark rights without inducing the Apple name. In contrast, this filing hangs with Apple's name and 5G together (with US national bird, no less).
Early 5G networks began launching in late 2018 and will continue to launch worldwide in 2019 and 2020. Unlike competitors, Apple is not expected to release a 5G phone in 2019. It is believed to test 5G components before a planned 5G launch in 2020 using an Intel modem, and it is also working on developing its own 5G modem.
Apple Bald Eagle 5G filing was made on February 3, 2019. It is currently being investigated by the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property before it became official.