Apple Loses Chinese Lawsuit Against Proview Technology Over 'iPad' Trademark

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Financial Post reports that Apple has lost a lawsuit it had filed against Chinese company Proview Technology alleging infringement of the "iPad" trademark. At stake in the dispute is ownership of the Chinese "iPad" trademark itself, which Proview registered for in China back in 2000. The company threatened to sue Apple last year amid failed negotiations, pegging the value of the trademark at $800 million.

ipad 2 china
As today's report notes, Apple purchased the European rights to the "iPad" trademark from Proview's parent company last year for just $55,000 and filed its suit against the Chinese subsidiary earlier this year with claims that the European deal also included the Chinese rights. Proview's Chinese arm has since sued Apple for $1.6 billion.

Apple purchased the European rights to the iPad name from Proview’s global parent last year for about $55,000 and filed an infringement lawsuit against the Shenzhen subsidiary six months ago, claiming the European deal also included China. While Tuesday’s reported ruling suggests China’s legal system does not agree, Apple officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It is unclear exactly what the next steps will be in the dispute and whether there is an appeals process in place beyond today's ruling. Alternatively, Apple may have to continue working toward a settlement with Proview's Chinese arm or refrain from using the iPad name in China.

Top Rated Comments

Simplicated Avatar
119 months ago

Ah, the joys of the global economy with national laws affecting commerce.

In the U.S., one cannot squat on a name. Unless a company has actively used the name in a product, one would not usually be able to claim harm and collect damages. I am not familiar with the laws in China, however.


Wait... There's laws in China? :rolleyes:
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
eawmp1 Avatar
119 months ago

I would go in and sue the government for all the counterfeit apple stores, for not being able to control it. And if that didnt work, I would just decide not to sell ipads in china....watch how fast they change their mind....


Cutting off one's nose to spite one's face comes to mind.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gkpm Avatar
119 months ago
"Apple Inc bought the trademark rights in Europe and other places from Proview Taipei, but Proview Technology (Shenzhen) Co Ltd still held the iPad trademark in China.
Li said the two sides had been negotiating the trademark issue at the beginning of this year, but later Apple quit the talks as Proview International became trapped in a debt crisis and its assets were frozen by eight banks. [...]

The eight banks are Bank of China, China Minsheng Bank, China Development Bank, Guangdong Development Bank, Bank of Communications, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Hua Xia Bank and Ping An Bank."

Sounds like that trademark is the only thing of value Proview owns and the banks are the ones chasing this.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2010-10/27/content_11466712.htm
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
something3153 Avatar
119 months ago

Lovely.

Knock-off junk-ware bearing the "iPad" name in a major market. :rolleyes:


Are you saying Proview shouldn't be able to use a name they registered well over half a decade before Apple wanted it?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nagromme Avatar
119 months ago
If Proview owns the name, they own the name. They chose a name—after Apple started using i names, but before the iPod, it seems—that turned out to have value; and Apple chose a name with the potential for some expense! I still think they chose well.*

I remember that Apple had to call AirPort AirMac in some countries. So be it, but I think they’ll settle in the iPad case.

* Flashback to when the 8-year olds were snickering about Apple using the word “pad,” because they forgot that a million tech products were already called “pads”: mouse pads, keypads, trackpads, gamepads, DDR pads, numeric pads, wrist pads, chair pads, and the PADD tablets on Star Trek! And pad thai. Mmmmm... pad thai....
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
reefoid Avatar
119 months ago

Ah, the joys of the global economy with national laws affecting commerce.

In the U.S., one cannot squat on a name. Unless a company has actively used the name in a product, one would not usually be able to claim harm and collect damages. I am not familiar with the laws in China, however.

Except they're not squatting. They produced iPad PC's in the Asian market.

Looks like they got a bargain with the EU trademark, the Chinese one is going to be quite a bit more expensive.

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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