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iPad Shipments Rise 80% in China Following Trademark Settlement

IDG News Service reports on comments from research firm IDC indicating that Apple's iPad shipments to China have risen 80% quarter-over-quarter, with the significant increase said to be related to increased distribution enabled by a settlement of a dispute with Proview Technology over the "iPad" trademark.Shipments of the tablet in the third quarter reached 2.07 million units, up from 1.15 million in the previous quarter, according to Dickie Chang, an analyst with research firm IDC. [...] Apple's third-generation iPad went on sale in China on July 20, four months after it was made available in the U.S. The launch was delayed as Apple got embroiled in a legal battle with Chinese firm Proview, which had registered for the "IPAD" trademark in China years before. With the trademark issue resolved and the third-generation iPad able to enter the market, Apple undoubtedly hopes to continue tapping into the booming Chinese market that has contributed significantly to Apple's revenue growth over the past several

Proview Sued for $2.4 Million by Own Lawyers in iPad Trademark Case

As noted by Engadget, Chinese company Proview has been sued by its own lawyers responsible for handling its trademark lawsuits against Apple that yielded a $60 million settlement earlier this month. The law firm claims that it is owed $2.4 million for its role in the case, but Proview has yet to make the promised payment.While acknowledging their contractual arrangement (wherein the law firm covers the legal fees in advance, and then expect the client to pay up after winning the case), Proview founder Yang Rongshan told Sina Tech that Grandall's behavior is "nonsense," and that his company isn't obliged to pay back immediately as it isn't under normal operation right now. Proview's Yang promises that the company will pay the fee, which amounts to 4% of the settlement figure, but the company is apparently not moving fast enough for its lawyers. Proview is currently in bankruptcy and the company's assets and the settlement amount are not sufficient to cover its debts, but its lawyers presumably had an agreement in place that ensured they would be compensated for their

Apple Settles Chinese 'iPad' Trademark Dispute with Proview for $60 Million

Associated Press reports that Apple and Chinese company Proview Technology have reached a settlement deal that involves Apple paying $60 million for the rights to the "iPad" trademark in China."The iPad dispute resolution is ended," the Guangdong High People's Court said in a statement. "Apple Inc. has transferred $60 million to the account of the Guangdong High Court as requested in the mediation letter."Proview began publicly objecting to Apple's use of the iPad name in late 2010, with the situation eventually escalating to see Proview demanding bans on iPad sales in the country and up to $2 billion in compensation. Settlement talks initiated earlier this year reportedly saw Apple offering $16 million to settle the case, but Proview was apparently holding out for a $400 million settlement that could save the company as it seeks to reorganize under bankruptcy. Apple argued in several court cases that it had acquired the Chinese rights to the iPad name in late 2009 as part of a deal with Proview's Taiwanese arm. That deal, brokered by Apple dummy corporation IP Application Development, reportedly saw the rights to the name transferred in a number of markets around the globe for just $55,000. Proview later claimed that the Chinese rights to the trademark were owned by its Chinese subsidiary and that the Taiwanese arm consequently could not have sold them to

Apple Reportedly Offers Proview $16 Million for iPad Trademark

Following a claim earlier this week that Apple had made its first settlement offer to Proview in the ongoing dispute over the "iPad" trademark in China, The Next Web now points to a report from Sina.com [Google translation] claiming that Apple's offer amounted to 100 million yuan, equivalent to $16 million. That marks a substantial increase over the $55,000 purchase price in the original deal between Proview's Taiwanese arm and a dummy corporation set by Apple to acquire the trademark in a number of countries. Proview later claimed that the Chinese rights to the trademark were owned by its Chinese subsidiary and that the Taiwanese arm consequently could not have sold them to Apple. Proview has been seeking as much as $2 billion in its lawsuits against Apple over the trademark, but today's report notes that Proview has gone bankrupt with $400 million owed to its creditors, speculating that that amount would be the minimum it the company would accept from Apple. It seems extremely unlikely that Apple would increase its offer to that level, and so it remains to be seen how the talks and court case will play

Judge Tosses Proview's U.S. Suit Against Apple over iPad Trademark

Among several lawsuits filed by Chinese company Proview alleging that it legally owns the "iPad" trademark in China despite a deal December 2009 between Proview's Taiwanese arm and a dummy corporation set up by Apple for the purposes of acquiring the trademark, one lawsuit has been filed in the United States. In that suit, filed in California in late February, Proview alleged that Apple had engaged in deception in its efforts to acquire the trademark. The Wall Street Journal now reports that the judge handling the case has thrown it out of court, citing an apparent agreement between Apple and Proview to adjudicate their differences in Hong Kong courts, where Apple won a decision last year.After Proview took its legal case to the U.S., Apple argued for the case to be dismissed on the grounds that the parties had agreed to settle any legal disagreements in Hong Kong. Judge Pierce upheld that view, writing that Proview failed to provide evidence that the selection of Hong Kong was "unreasonable or unfair," according to a copy of the order.In response to the decision throwing out the U.S. case, Proview's lawyers claimed that the decision was not based on the merits of the case and that the company will appeal the decision. The U.S. developments come as Apple and Proview continue their litigation in China, where the two companies are engaging in court-suggested settlement talks that have reportedly seen Apple for the first time making a settlement offer. But the two parties apparently remain far apart in their expectations for a settlement, and it is unclear whether

Apple Makes Settlement Offer in iPad Trademark Case, But 'Big Gap' Remains

Xinhua reports on comments from a Proview lawyer claiming that Apple has for the first time put forth a settlement offer in the dispute over the "iPad" trademark in China. The offer came as part of settlement talks suggested by the court overseeing the case."We feel that the attitude of Apple Inc. has changed. Although they expressed that they were willing to negotiate, they have never taken any action before. But now, they are having conversations with us, and we have begun to consult on the case," said [Proview attorney] Xie Xianghui in an interview with Xinhua on Sunday. [...] Xie said the two sides have discussed a compensation package, and Apple Inc. has tabled an amount it thinks appropriate. But the Proview side has not agreed on a deal, and Xie would not disclose the amount of money offered by Apple Inc.. A settlement offer from Apple does not necessarily mean that the case is nearing a resolution, as Bloomberg notes that a "big gap" remains between Proview and Apple in their expectations of a settlement figure.“The Guangdong Higher People’s court is trying to mediate this, and both parties are trying to negotiate and come to a settlement,” Xie said. “Right now, there is still a big gap between the two sides on the settlement amount.”Apple contends that it purchased the Chinese rights to the iPad trademark from Proview's Taiwanese arm in a December 2009 deal encompassing rights in a number of countries and carrying a $55,000 purchase price. But Proview has argued that the Chinese rights were controlled by its Chinese arm and that the Taiwanese unit had no

Chinese Official Says Proview Rightful Owner of iPad Trademark

Reuters reports on the first public comments from a government official regarding Apple's dispute with Proview over ownership of the "iPad" trademark in China, with the official stating that according to Chinese law Proview is indeed the rightful owner of the trademark."According to the ... provisions of the China Trademark Law, currently Shenzhen Proview is the legal registrant of the iPad trademark," Fu Shuangjian, a deputy director of [the State Administration for Industry and Commerce], was quoted as saying at a news conference in Beijing. [...] "This case has a huge impact and the final court ruling would directly influence who owns the iPad trademark. The commerce department will (take the matter) very seriously," said Fu, whose department governs market regulation and supervision.Fu's comments are not an official ruling on the matter, as the case is still being tried in a Chinese court and settlement talks are reportedly underway, but his perspective could provide a hint about how the case will ultimately play out. His comments do, however, leave some room for interpretation, potentially noting only that Proview remains listed as the trademark's owner in governmental records. In that context, his comments may simply be observational rather than outlining a position that Proview should ultimately retain those rights. Apple claims that it obtained the Chinese trademark on the iPad name through a dummy corporation it set up to purchase various iPad trademarks from Proview's Taiwanese arm in the months leading up to the device's debut in early 2010. But

Apple and Proview in Settlement Talks over iPad Trademark in China

There have been few updates in the "iPad" trademark dispute between Apple and Proview over the past couple of months, but IDG News now reports that the two companies are engaged in settlement talks with an eye toward resolving the issue.Ma Dongxiao, a lawyer representing the Chinese company Proview, said on Friday the talks were happening, but declined to offer details. The legal dispute between Apple and Proview is still being deliberated by the Higher People's Court of Guangdong Province. But earlier this week, the court recommended that both Apple and Proview find a way to mediate the dispute, according to a court spokesman.Apple claims that it used a dummy corporation to purchase the Chinese rights to the iPad trademark in late 2009 as part of a broad deal with Proview's Taiwanese arm covering several markets and carrying a $55,000 purchase price. But Proview has argued that the Chinese rights were controlled by its Chinese arm and that the Taiwanese unit had no ability to sell them to Apple, despite the fact that corporate officers common to both units were involved in the deal. Proview has since filed several suits against Apple, with reports of damage claims ranging up to $2 billion. For its part, Apple has been playing up a Hong Kong court ruling that found Proview and its subsidiaries had conspired to extort millions of dollars from Apple once it was discovered that Apple was behind the trademark purchase. Chinese courts have, however, yet to rule on the issue. It is unclear whether the new settlement talks between Apple and Proview are likely to be

Proview Sues Apple in U.S. Over Alleged Deception in iPad Trademark Purchase

Reuters reports that the dispute over the iPad trademark in China has taken an interesting turn, with Proview Technology filing suit against Apple in the United States over alleged deception related to the deal between the two companies. Apple set up a dummy corporation known as IP Application Development Ltd (IPAD) to conduct negotiations with Proview over the trademark back in 2009, and Proview's suit alleges that Apple's efforts to keep its identity secret amounted to fraud.In its filing, Proview alleged lawyers for IPAD repeatedly said it would not be competing with the Chinese firm, and refused to say why they needed the trademark. Those representations were made "with the intent to defraud and induce the plaintiffs to enter into the agreement," Proview said in the filing dated February 17, requesting an unspecified amount of damages.The use of dummy corporations is not particularly unusual in business negotiations, with companies sometimes seeking to keep their identities secret as they work to acquire intellectual property and other assets in support of products under development. By keeping their identities secret, high-profile companies hope to avoid having their plans become public while also looking to strike more favorable deals with companies who think they are dealing with a small business rather than a deep-pocketed industry leader. MacRumors discovered in the weeks leading up to the introduction of the original iPad in January 2010 that Apple had used a similar dummy corporation with a nearly identical name of IP Application Development LLC to re

Shanghai Court Denies Injunction Against iPad Sales in Proview Trademark Dispute

Reuters reports that a Shanghai court has declined to issue an injunction that would have barred sales of Apple's iPad in the city, a ruling that is part of the dispute between Apple and Proview Technology over the trademark on the iPad name. Early reports had painted the decision as a significant victory for Apple, but while the company is no doubt pleased that the judge in the case did not find sufficient cause to halt iPad sales at this time, it appears to mainly be a procedural ruling to put off further proceedings until a decision is reached in a related case in Guangdong province. Apple lost an initial case there and is currently appealing that decision.The Shanghai Pudong New Area People's Court denied a request by Proview Technology (Shenzhen) for the injunction and agreed to Apple's request that the trademark infringement case be suspended pending a ruling in a separate case in a higher court. The decision, announced on Thursday on the court's website, gives Apple some leeway in a larger battle over the iPad trademark in China, which is important to Apple not only as a consumer market, but also because the country is a major production base for the iPad and other of its products.Proview has won several small victories against Apple in cities around China, but a ruling against Apple in Shanghai would have been by far the most significant given the city's size and Apple's presence there with three of its own retail

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

Proview Willing to Discuss Settlement with Apple in iPad Trademark Case

AFP reports that Proview Technology has expressed a willingness to work toward a settlement with Apple in the "iPad" trademark dispute in China, even as the company continues to press forward with current lawsuits and plans for new ones seeking as much as $2 billion in damages."We are now preparing for negotiations," Proview's lawyer, Xie Xianghui, told AFP. "The court cases will continue until we reach an agreement." He declined to give further details, but he added Apple had told Proview it had "peaceful intentions". Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Analysts expect the companies will reach an out-of-court settlement.Apple has been ramping up its efforts in the dispute, just yesterday sending a warning letter to Proview outlining numerous false public statements made by the company and threatening to sue Proview for defamation. Apple had previously won a court case in Hong Kong in which a judge ruled that several Proview subsidiaries had colluded in order to breach an agreement to transfer the trademark rights to Apple and then attempt to extort million (and now billions) of dollars from

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. 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

iPad Issues in China: Amazon Not an Authorized Retailer, Apple's Victory in Hong Kong Trademark Case

Earlier today, we noted that the iPad had been pulled from sale at online retailers Amazon China and Suning.com, with the development coming just days after authorities had seized some iPads over a trademark dispute involving the "iPad" name. At the time of the removal, an Amazon China spokesperson indicated that the iPad had been removed at Apple's request rather than as a result of actions associated with the trademark dispute, but Apple's reasons for the request were unknown. The Wall Street Journal now reports that Apple did indeed request that Amazon China remove the iPad from sale, simply due to Amazon China not being an officially authorized retailer.The Cupertino, Calif., consumer electronics giant asked Amazon in China to stop selling iPads because it is not an authorized reseller, according to people familiar with the matter. Amazon has since removed iPads offered by other resellers on its Chinese website as well.The report's sources indicate that the move was not specifically related to the ongoing trademark dispute, although the timing suggests that it perhaps did play some role in the decision, if only by spurring Apple to reassess iPad distribution in China and tie up any loose ends. While Chinese courts have so far ruled against Apple in the trademark dispute with Proview Technology, Apple has noted that it did win a court case on the issue in Hong Kong last year. The Wall Street Journal's report offers some additional details on that decision, which held that Proview and its subsidiaries had conspired against Apple in a scheme to extract more money

Chinese Customs Tells Proview That Ban of iPad Exports Would be Difficult

Reuters reports that Proview Technology will apparently have a hard time blocking Apple iPad exports from China. On Tuesday, we reported that Proview was seeking a block on both Chinese imports and exports of the iPad over a trademark dispute with Apple. Given that Apple's iPad manufacturing is centered in China, such a move would be "catastrophic" for Apple. However, China's customs authorities told Proview that it would be difficult to execute such a ban due to the popularity of Apple's products:"The customs have told us that it will be difficult to implement a ban because many Chinese consumers love Apple products. The sheer size of the market is very big," Yang Long-san, chief of Proview Technology (Shenzhen), told Reuters in a telephone interview on Wednesday.As many commenters have noted, China's Foxconn manufacturers many of Apple's products including the iPad, and a ban on exports would negatively impact Foxconn as well. Apple claims that it purchased the Chinese rights to the trademark several years ago, but the original owner Proview and Chinese courts have disagreed with that assertion. Apple's case is still pending with Chinese courts as it seeks to appeal earlier rulings.

Proview Seeking to Cut Off Apple's Worldwide Supply of iPads

Earlier this week, we noted that Chinese authorities had begun seizing iPad stocks from a small number of retailers over Apple's alleged infringement of a disputed "iPad" trademark. Apple claims that it purchased the Chinese rights to the trademark several years ago, but the original owner Proview and Chinese courts have disagreed with that assertion. Bloomberg now notes that Proview is seeking to go beyond local enforcement and is asking Chinese customs officials to block both imports and exports of the iPad over the issue. With iPad production taking place in China, a successful bid by Proview could cut off Apple's supplies of the device throughout the world.“We are applying to customs to stop any trademark- infringing products from imports to China and also for exports,” said [Proview lawyer Roger] Xie, who is based in Shenzhen. “Apple wants to postpone and continue infringement of the iPad in China.”Calling a potential export ban "catastrophic" for Apple, one Chinese legal expert notes that pressure on Apple to settle the case has dramatically increased.A halt to exports from China would be “catastrophic” for Apple because it would mean a global halt to iPad sales, said Stan Abrams, an intellectual property lawyer and a law professor at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing. The threat of an export ban increases the pressure on Apple to settle the case, he said. “There’s got to be a settlement, and fairly soon,” Abrams said. “I can’t see how much more incentivized to settle Apple could be.”Apple continues to maintain that it acquired

Chinese Authorities and Retailers Removing iPads from Sale Over Trademark Issues?

Last week, we offered an update on the ongoing trademark dispute in China between Apple and Proview Technology, which claims to have held ownership of the "iPad" trademark there since 2000. Apple is said to be facing a potential fine of approximately $38 million from the government while Proview is seeking as much as $1.6 billion in damages. Chinese authorities examining seized iPads According to new reports from DigiCha (via The Next Web) and China.com.cn [Google translation] , authorities have begun taken steps related to the trademark issue, confiscating iPads discovered in retailers' shops while other retailers move proactively to remove the devices from display in order to prevent their stocks from being seized. DigiCha reports:Apparently as a result of the Proview iPad trademark infringement verdict, some local Administrations of Industry and Commerce (AIC) have started to confiscate Apple ($AAPL) iPads they find on sale. The article claims that many stores and resellers have taken the products off their shelves to avoid discovery by authorities, but if you ask for an iPad you can still buy one.China.com.cn notes that as of 5:00 PM yesterday authorities had seized 45 iPad 2 units from retailers, but it remains unclear whether the actions are part of an nationwide effort or if local authorities are acting on their own initiative to address the issue. Apple believed that it had acquired the rights to the iPad trademark in China in an earlier $55,000 deal with Proview's parent company that also included European rights. But Proview's Chinese arm has argued

Apple Faces Potential $38 Million Fine in China as $1.6 Billion Lawsuit Over 'iPad' Trademark Proceeds

iSmashPhone summarizes a pair of reports from China claiming that Apple is facing a potential 240 million yuan ($38 million) fine from governmental authorities over alleged trademark infringement involving the "iPad" name. The fine pales, however, in comparison to the $1.6 billion Proview Technology, which claims to own the name, is seeking to win in a series of lawsuits filed against Apple. Proview is also said to be seeking an apology from Apple and an injunction preventing the company from using the iPad name in China. Proview first accused Apple of trademark infringement back in 2010, claiming that it had owned the mark in China since 2000 and seeking a settlement from Apple in the range of $800 million. Apple fired back with its own lawsuit claiming that it did own the "iPad" rights in China after having purchased European rights from Proview's parent company for just $55,000. With Proview having filed a 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) suit against Apple in the meantime, Apple lost its suit when a court ruled that the Chinese rights had not been included in the purchase because the parent company did not hold the authority to sell them. Apple is appealing the December ruling in favor of Proview, and any potential government fines or resolution to Proview's case against Apple appear to be waiting for that case to be

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

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. 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

Apple Accused of 'iPad' Trademark Infringement in China

AFP reports that a Chinese firm has accused Apple of trademark infringement for its use of the "iPad" name in that country, seeking up to $800 million to settle the dispute. Proview Technology Co, Ltd, which is based in the southern city of Shenzhen, registered the iPad trademark in January 2000 and still owns the rights to its use in China, the Beijing News said, citing government archives. Apple started selling its sleek iPad tablet computer in China last month, after months of grey-market action among avid buyers unwilling to wait for the official launch.Reports indicate that Proview has demanded that Apple immediately cease its infringement and enter into fresh negotiations for the rights to use the "iPad" name in China. The two companies apparently held earlier talks regarding the trademark, but were unable to reach an agreement. Apple also brought Proview to court back in May in order to prevent the company from transferring the trademark rights to third