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Apple claims backing for rights to Chinese iPad trademark

updated 09:15 am EST, Thu February 16, 2012

Insists Proview 'refuses to honor their agreement'

Apple has broken its usual silence on legal matters to defend its assertion to the iPad trademark in China, a China Daily report indicates. "We bought Proview's worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple, and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter," an Apple statement claims. The company also says that the case is still pending in the Chinese mainland.

Proview's stance has been that while Apple did buy the iPad trademark from Proview Electronics in 2006, that didn't include the rights to the trademark in China, which are said to be owned by Proview Shenzhen. A lawyer for Proview Shenzhen, Xie Xianghui, comments that Apple's new statement is a "partial" reply, meant to confuse the public. He argues that the Hong Kong ruling won't have any influence over mainland trials, because of the different legal frameworks; he moreover challenges the idea that Hong Kong actually sided with Apple. "Apple is worried the iPad trademark will be resold before the hearing is finished, so it asked the Hong Kong court to forbid Proview Shenzhen from doing that," Xie elaborates.

Much is at stake for Apple, since the Chinese market is growing fast, and even locally it is unlikely to want to change the product's name. More likely is that Apple may be forced to enter into a settlement with Proview to avoid the $1.6 billion judgement the latter has been seeking.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. kerryb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    play with fire

    There is something quite satisfying about stories like this one. Western corporations have flocked to China for cheap labor and factories that can do anything for a fraction of the cost compared to other places. What these corporations are discovering now is that China has a very different way of doing business thanks to nearly a century of Communist control. Has Apple stepped into a culture that shares its values and ideals regarding fairness and legal binding contracts? It may appear that Chinese courts have every intention of supporting the claims of Proview putting Apple in the position of playing a game in a place where the rules can suddenly change and the option is to payout and shut up or try to find another China to produce the iPad.

  1. lkrupp

    Junior Member

    Joined: May 2001

    +3

    Shakedown...

    I have always believed this is a shakedown move that includes the communist government.

  1. bonaccij

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2003

    +5

    Personally,

    I would like to see Apple stick to their guns and not cave in. Proview had ample time to bring this to court and should have. It just seems like a last-ditch effort on Proview's part to help with their flailing economic crisis. I would ask that Proview settle this like gentlemen and not try to rape Apple. At any rate - this should be a very interesting thing.

  1. facebook_Thabo

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2012

    +3

    Extortion

    Apple has bought the rights from Proview's iPad trademarks, they just did not transfer these in China, this case is a legal way to get more money than the 55.000 dollars Apple already paid for these trademarks. However the chineese legal system seems to handle these cases different than US or European courts. I hope Apple will win this one otherwise we'll see a very disturbing picture, that chineese workers making a product that has been banned from selling in their own coutry, Proview might win this legal case, but will get burned when the people find out that this company whithold them the iPad. Setteling this out of court might keep the price down for Apple and be able to sell the iPad, but they already paid for these rights, If I where Tim Cook I'll try my options in the Shanghai trail.

  1. TomMcIn

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2001

    +1

    Motorola Like

    How is this shakedown much different than what Motorola/Google are trying to pull?

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