updated 07:50 am EST, Tue February 14, 2012
Proview hopes to pressure Apple with export ban
Proview's small number of retail iPad seizures were just part of hopes that it could effectively ban the iPad worldwide, the Chinese company argued as part of a report Tuesday. It was hoping not just to stop Chinese sales and imports under the iPad name but also exports, which would nearly ban the sale of the iPad worldwide. Attorney Roger Xie in talking to Bloomberg didn't explain how he thought Proview could enforce its China-only trademark in other countries.
The attitude came as Apple representative Carolyn Wu disputed not just the legitimacy of Proview's claims but also whether it was yet in a position to threaten enforcement even if it won. Apple had already bought use of the iPad trademark in China and nine other countries, and it's Proview that "refuses to honor" the deals, Wu said. Proview has previously tried to argue that a trademark sale through a proxy firm didn't technically transfer usage to key areas.
Hong Kong-based Proview has been asking for as much as $1.6 billion in early claims from Apple in return for continuing to do business. The risk to Apple's business has led to calls for it to settle, although it's likely to push for a much lower amount.
The smaller firm was astute enough to start securing the iPad trademark in 2000, a decade before the iPad would become public, although its decision to wait until after the iPad had become a commercial success to start trademark disputes has been called into question. Even Proview's 2000 decision has been credited to Apple, since it was the iMac, iBook, and iTunes that would have spurred on Proview's trademark filing at the time.