Apple and Proview Face Off in Shanghai Court Over iPad Trademark

While Proview has had some success in its battle against Apple's use of the "iPad" trademark in China with minor court decisions against local retailers, the two companies are now going directly head-to-head in a higher-profile case underway in Shanghai. There has been no decision in the case yet, but lawyers for both sides spent four hours today laying out their evidence for the presiding judge. Reuters notes that Apple has gone on the offensive by citing the impact on the Chinese economy if iPad sales were to be halted, given the iPad's massive popularity and Proview's current lack of any product offering under that name.

"Proview has no product, no markets, no customers and no suppliers. It has nothing," Hu Jinnan, a partner at Guangdong Shendadi law firm, which is representing Apple in the case, told the court.

"Apple has huge sales in China. Its fans line up to buy Apple products. The ban, if executed, would not only hurt Apple sales but it would also hurt China's national interest."

Apple's tactics of highlighting the economic impact of the iPad and calling into question the validity of Proview's trademark given a lack of physical product using the name are side arguments to its primary claims, which hold that Proview agreed to transfer the rights to an Apple-held company in late 2009 and has failed to uphold its part of the deal.


Proview's iPAD, sold from 1998 until 2009 (Source: The Wall Street Journal)

A Hong Kong court sided with Apple last year, ruling that Proview and its subsidiaries had colluded to extort significant sums of money from Apple in refusing to hand over the Chinese rights to the trademark. But Apple needs to convince courts in mainland China to adopt the same view as it seeks to thwart Proview's attempts at halting iPad sales and its requests for as much as $2 billion in compensation. Proview has argued that the Hong Kong ruling is inadmissible in Chinese courts, although Apple could presumably submit the same primary evidence to the Chinese court that it did in the Hong Kong case, seeking to convince the Chinese judge to independently come to the same conclusion.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
111 months ago

I agree. I don't know why Apple thinks that Proview DOESN'T have the trademark right. Just because Apple is a corporate monster doesn't mean that they don't have to adhere to the same trademark laws as everyone else. Proview's compensation request is outrageous of course, but I would think their rights to that name in China is undisputed.

Tony


Maybe beause Apple bought the world rights to the term iPad from them?
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago
iMac

Looks a bit like the first iMac.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago

Apple would be quick to go after anyone using their trademarks so it is only fair that Apple are stopped from trampling over an exiting product with the ipad name.


Unless they really did sell the rights to Apple, and ProView is just pissed bacause they didn't know it was Apple buying the rights and are just trying to get more money now...
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago
You are all missing the point. It doesn't matter how popular the iPad is or that Proview doesn't sell that product anymore.

What matters is that Proview sold rights to the iPad name to Apple years ago, and now that the iPad is immensely popular, has turned around and claimed they didn't really sell it, or that a mistake was made.

I'm sorry Proview, but you made your bed by selling the trademark. Now lie in it, and go away. Perhaps you should have charged Apple more for the rights.

I don't like to side with Apple on these things, as they are usually the trademark/patent bullies... But I'm trying to be fair. They bought the rights fair and clear.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago

I agree. I don't know why Apple thinks that Proview DOESN'T have the trademark right. Just because Apple is a corporate monster doesn't mean that they don't have to adhere to the same trademark laws as everyone else. Proview's compensation request is outrageous of course, but I would think their rights to that name in China is undisputed.


Apple thinks that Proview doesn't have the rights because Proview sold the trademark right to Apple. I think that is a pretty good argument. Has nothing to do with company sizes, it has to do with Apple and Proview signing a contract, and Apple handing over the money.

Apparently Proview has been making up a story that the trademarks were owned by a different part of the company, but Apple has proof that this different part of the company knew about and agreed to the sale.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago

Proview has no product, no markets, no customers and no suppliers. It has nothing.

This is the truth, and frankly it's the problem with IP laws. A lack of common sense.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

2020 iMac Benchmarks Surface Online [Updated]

Thursday August 6, 2020 7:16 am PDT by
Benchmarks from the new 2020 iMac have today been shared online by Mac Otakara. The Geekbench benchmarks are from the newly-released 27-inch iMac with 3.0GHz Intel Core i5 processor and Radeon Pro 5300 graphics, compared to multiple specs of the previous 2019 iMac. The lowest spec 27-inch i5 iMac from 2020 performs about 20 percent better in multicore than the lowest spec 27-inch i5...

New 27-Inch iMac's Storage Affixed to Logic Board, 4TB and 8TB Configurations Have Expansion Connector

Friday August 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
Following a report from German blog iFun.de that claimed the new 27-inch iMac's flash storage is soldered to the logic board, MacRumors has obtained additional information in an internal document for Apple technicians. In the document, Apple says that the flash storage is indeed affixed to the logic board and cannot be removed. However, for the 4TB and 8TB configurations, Apple says that a...

Microsoft's xCloud and Xbox Game Pass Not Coming to iOS Due to Apple's Restrictions [Updated]

Thursday August 6, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Microsoft's "Project xCloud" streaming game service that pairs with its Xbox Game Pass won't be available on iPhone and iPad when it launches this September, and Apple's App Store restrictions are to blame. Xbox Game Pass and its accompanying xCloud streaming feature offer access to hundreds of games that can be streamed to mobile devices, and Apple says that because it can't review each...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...