updated 03:35 pm EST, Mon February 27, 2012
Says Apple frontman dodged questions
Proview has amended its California lawsuit against Apple with new claims about the latter party's alleged fraud. Newly referenced is the managing director of Farncombe International, Graham Robinson, who Proview says was instrumental in helping Apple create IP Application Development (IPAD) Limited, the firm which bought rights to the iPad trademark in December 2009. Robinson is said to have used an alias when negotiating with Proview Taiwan -- Jonathan Hargreaves -- and moreover dodged questions from Proview about the nature of IPAD's business.
"[IPAD Ltd.] is a newly formed company, and I'm sure you can understand that we are not ready to publicize what the company's business is, since we have not yet made any public announcements," Robinson allegedly stated at one point. "As I said in my last message, I can assure you that the company will not compete with Proview." Apple is accused of fraud by intentional misrepresentation, fraud by concealment, fraudulent inducement, and unfair competition. Robinson reportedly told Proview that IPAD wanted the iPad trademark to match its name.
In announcing the amended complaint, Proview suggests that Apple was "pressed for time" in getting the trademark. The first-generation iPad would be announced roughly a month after Apple secured naming rights, and Proview argues that Apple was "predisposed to use deception to obtain the trademarks from Proview Taiwan because it knew from prior dealings with Proview Taiwan that Proview Taiwan opposed Apple's use of similar trademarks."
The California lawsuit is notably separate from one taking place in China. There the plaintiff is Proview Shenzhen, which has accused Apple of not securing local rights to the iPad name, rather than obtaining them fraudulently.