Apple Threatens to Sue Proview for Defamation as Chinese Court Asks Distributors to Pull iPads

Associated Press reports that a Chinese court has ruled against Apple in its ongoing trademark dispute with Proview Technology over the rights to the "iPad" trademark in that country, deciding that distributors should halt sales of the iPad in China. The impact of the ruling is, however, unclear as the lawsuit is just one of many Proview has filed against Apple in its efforts to extract as much as $2 billion for the trademark rights.

Xie Xianghui, a lawyer for Shenzhen Proview Technology, said the Intermediate People's Court in Huizhou, a city in southern China's Guangdong province, had ruled on Friday that distributors should stop selling iPads in China.

The ruling, which was also reported widely in China's state media, may not have a far-reaching effect. In its battle with Apple, Proview is utilizing lawsuits in several places and also requesting commercial authorities in 40 cities to block iPad sales.

Apple Inc. said in a statement Monday that its case is still pending in mainland China. The company has appealed to Guangdong's High Court against an earlier ruling in Proview's favor.

proview logo
Meanwhile, IDG News reports that Apple sent a letter to Proview today threatening a lawsuit over defamation charges. Apple had previously won a case over the trademark rights in a Hong Kong court, and Apple's threats claim that Proview has issued false public statements regarding the dispute.

On Monday, Apple sent a letter to Chinese display vendor Proview, demanding its founder Yang Rongshan cease releasing what it said was false information to the media. Apple then warned it would sue for damages caused by "defamatory statements."

"It is inappropriate to release information contrary to the facts to the media, especially when such disclosures have the effect of wrongfully causing damage to Apple's reputation," said the letter, which was provided by a person familiar with the matter.

Apple claims that a shell company it set up for the purpose of anonymously acquiring intellectual property rights purchased the iPad trademark rights in China and a number of other countries from Proview in 2009 for $55,000. But Proview later reported that the subsidiary making the deal did not hold the Chinese rights and demanded that Apple pay $10 million before a different subsidiary would transfer the rights.

The Hong Kong court ruled last year that the various Proview subsidiaries colluded in an effort to extort millions of dollar out of Apple, a figure that has now risen to $1-2 billion as Proview has continued to press its case. Chinese courts have so far sided with Proview, however, with Apple continuing to appeal there using the Hong Kong ruling to demonstrate the strength of its case.

Update: Financial Times clarifies that the court ruling today specifically related to a single retailer, Sundan. While the impact of the decision is limited due to its effect on a single retailer in a single city and the fact that it can still be appealed by Sundan, it may provide Proview with leverage as it pursues other lawsuits against resellers to try to halt the flow of iPads and force a settlement from Apple.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Caution)
Related Forum: iPad

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

Revealed: iOS 18 Works With These iPhone Models

Monday June 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and hence also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, but older iPhone models will miss out. Here is the full...
ios 18 tile summary

Apple Announces iOS 18 With New Customization Features, Redesigned Photos App, and More

Monday June 10, 2024 10:17 am PDT by
Apple today previewed iOS 18, the next major update to the operating system for the iPhone, with new customization features, a redesigned Photos app, and more. iOS 18 features new customization tools for the Home Screen. App icons now feature Dark Mode and users can tint them with a color to create a unique look. Apps can also now be placed anywhere on the Home Screen freely. The Control...
WWDC24 Live Coverage Article

WWDC 2024 Apple Event Live Keynote Coverage: iOS 18, Apple's AI Push, and More

Monday June 10, 2024 9:20 am PDT by
Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) starts today with the traditional keynote kicking things off at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. MacRumors is on hand for the event and we'll be sharing details and our thoughts throughout the day. We're expecting to see a number of software-related announcements with a focus on Apple's efforts to infuse AI throughout its operating systems and apps....
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Massive iPhone Upgrade Coming This Week But These Devices Will Miss Out

Sunday June 9, 2024 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple is planning a major AI overhaul in iOS 18, with a feature set it is referring to as "Apple Intelligence." However, these new features will not work on older iPhones, even if they do appear on the new operating system's device compatibility list. Apple's initial AI roadmap for iOS 18 is said to come in two parts: Basic AI features that will be processed on-device, and more advanced...
ios 18 button bulge

iOS 18 Adds Pop-Out Bezel Animation When Pressing iPhone Buttons

Tuesday June 11, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a small but interesting change for the buttons on the iPhone, adding more of a visual element when changing volume, activating the Action button, or locking the screen. When you press an iPhone button in iOS 18, the display bezel bulges outward slightly. This feature is available for the volume buttons, Action button and the power button, and it will also likely be used for...
Next Gen CarPlay WWDC24 1

Apple Provides Updated Look at Next-Generation CarPlay at WWDC 2024

Monday June 10, 2024 7:11 pm PDT by
Apple today shared a few WWDC 2024 coding sessions related to its upcoming next-generation CarPlay system ahead of its launch later this year. The sessions include lots of updated next-generation CarPlay images, with one revealing new Vehicle, Media, and Climate apps in action for the first time. MacRumors previously discovered evidence of these apps in the iOS 17.4 beta. Next-generation...
iPad Air 5

New: iPadOS 18 Drops Support for These iPad Models

Monday June 10, 2024 4:16 am PDT by
iPadOS 18 will drop support for iPad models equipped with the A10X Fusion chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS and iPadOS updates. In other words, iPadOS 18 will drop support for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Support for the sixth-generation iPad, which uses the...

Top Rated Comments

ultravioletfly Avatar
161 months ago




http://allthingsd.com/20120216/take-a-look-at-some-of-apples-evidence-in-proview-ipad-dispute/

The Bank of China (China-govt-operated bank) is one of Proview's creditors. Extortion on a massive scale.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aeolius Avatar
161 months ago
I think Apple should call their next line of monitors the Apple ProView.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FakeWozniak Avatar
161 months ago
Funny, but if the buyer is Acme, the cost is $55K, if it's Apple its $100M. How can you blame Apple for the shell company method?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FakeWozniak Avatar
161 months ago
The article links to a PC World article.
The people on that blog are real ******s.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JHankwitz Avatar
161 months ago
Apple tried to get out of this cheap with an anonymous shell company. Clever, but it has backfired on them.

So if you owned a trademark and were approached by a company knowing it had a $568,000,000,000 cap, you would be willing to give it up for a lousy $55,000? I THINK NOT! No large company in their right mind would ever let a trademark owner know who they really were. This isn't 'clever, it's SOP.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gkpm Avatar
161 months ago
Also, Apple tried to get out of this cheap with an anonymous shell company. Clever, but it has backfired on them.
The shell company is used so trademark observers don't know Apple bought the trademark, i.e. guess Apple is coming out with a product called the iPad.

If not a simple database search would have revealed it all.

It's not just Apple who does this, pretty much standard procedure.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)