updated 10:43 am EST, Mon December 24, 2012
Policy change prompted in part by Apple v. Proview dispute
The Chinese government is planning to crack down on "malicious" trademark applications, Reuters reports. A proposed amendment is expected to better protect international brands sold in the country, and give copyright owners the ability to block similar or identical trademark registrations. The change is said to have been prompted by a number of high-profile incidents, such as the confrontation between Apple and Proview over the iPad trademark.
Proview once registered the term "iPAD" for a now-defunct product. A division of Proview sold Apple the rights to the name, but the parent company later claimed Apple didn't own the rights in mainland China, prompting a lawsuit and other legal actions, such as the confiscation of iPads from some Chinese stores. Apple ultimately settled the case for $60 million.
Other examples mentioned by Reuters include luxury vendor Hermes, and former basketball star Michael Jordan. The latter sued a Chinese sportswear maker in February.