July 1, 2012

iPad sign inside of Chinese Apple Store (Credit: Yahoo)

According to the Associated Press, Apple has ended their long-running iPad name dispute in China with Proview with a $60 million settlement. The ruling was made Monday by the Guangdong High People’s Court. While it got $60 million, Proview wanted even more:

Proview hoped for more money but felt pressure to settle because it needs to pay debts, said a lawyer for the company, Xie Xianghui. He said the company had hoped for as much as $400 million and might still be declared bankrupt in a separate legal proceeding despite the infusion of settlement money.

Apple had purchased the iPad name from Proview in 2009 under a shell company, but the use of the name iPad in China by Apple was ruled to never officially been granted. In February, Proview brought the lawsuit stateside, but a California judge ruled against Proview in the United States in early May.

This $60 million settlement is substantially more than the rumored $16 million offering from Apple. Even at $60 million, the fee is a small amount compared to what would occur – marketing and sales wise – if Apple were to actually lose the right to use the name “iPad” in China.

Apple has been moving quickly in China over the past couple of years, expanding iPad, iPhone, Mac and other product sales in the region while also rolling out updated software to better support the nation.

Apple’s upcoming update to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, iOS 6, and update to Mac OS, OS X Mountain Lion, include the Chinese Web search service Baidu as a search option in Safari in addition to built-in support for Chinese social networks and Mail services.

expand full story

May 10, 2012

May 8, 2012

May 7, 2012

March 28, 2012

We knew earlier this week that Tim Cook had “great meetings with Chinese officials” during his first trip to China as chief executive officer of Apple, but today a report from Bloomberg gives us new details about exactly who he met in China. According to the report, Cook met Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang, who could replace Wen Jiabao as Premier of the country’s government in 2013. Cook also met with Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong a day before. Apple spokesperson Carolyn Wu told Bloomberg that Li and Cook had a “great meeting,” but she declined to talk about the specifics.

However, a report from The Wall Street Journal cited local media reports and claimed Cook and Li were discussing “intellectual-property issues and greater cooperation.”

According to representatives for the creditors of Shenzhen-based Proview, the company Apple is in a dispute with over the iPad trademark, Cook is on a “political public relations campaign” regarding the legal disputes. Li Su, president of Hejun Vanguard Group who represents Proview’s creditors, made the remarks. When Apple’s spokesperson Carolyn Wu asked about Li’s comment, she said the following:

expand full story

February 29, 2012

The iPad maker is defending its moniker by insisting the device became synonymous with both the company name and the tablets. PCWorld quotes Apple’s legal representatives who argued at the Guangdong Province Higher People’s Court hearing this morning that Apple made the iPad name famous in the first place:

Among consumers across the world, the iPad trademark is already uniquely connected with Apple. When consumers see a tablet with an iPad trademark, they know it comes from Apple, and not from another company.

No ruling occurred during the six-hour long hearing, and the judges adjourned without setting a new court date. Should Apple lose the appeal, Proview’s request to put a sales ban on the iPad in 30 Chinese cities will go-ahead. Moreover, Apple would risk lawsuits seeking damages. Last week, the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court rejected a preliminary iPad sales injunction until the Guangdong court made its ruling on the appeal.

Apple’s argument might actually backfire, because its legal standoff with Proview has blown up. Wikipedia claims, “A trademark owner takes a risk in engaging in such a corrective campaign because the campaign may serve as an admission that the trademark is generic.” I am not a lawyer, but it seems obvious Apple might be calling upon itself long-term damage with this testimony.

Arguing that the iPad became a generic term for tablets theoretically means anyone could use it as a descriptor. Besides, why do you think Proview brought this battle to the United States? The opposite argument is that Apple actually owns the iPad name, and it is the only company marketing a product that became synonymous for tablets in the first place.

expand full story

February 23, 2012

Sick of Proview yet?

The bankrupt Chinese company that sold Apple the ‘IPAD’ name only to claim it was deceived by Apple’s secret IP Application Development subsidiary is now suing Apple in its own back yard, according to the WSJ.

The lawsuit, which was filed in the Superior Court of the State of California in Santa Clara County on Feb. 17, but previously unreported, claimed that Apple had committed fraud when it used a company set up by one of its law firms, called IP Application Development Ltd., to purchase the iPad trademark from Proview on Dec. 23, 2009 for 35,000 British pounds ($55,000).

Proview’s point of view?

In emails seen by The Wall Street Journal, a representative purportedly of IP Application Development told Proview that it wanted to acquire the iPad name because it was an abbreviation of its company’s title, and that its future products wouldn’t compete with Proview’s products.

Proview is bankrupt and its products look like cheap original iPad knockoffs (right). A judge in Shanghai denied Proview’s motion to ban sales of iPad in the city earlier today.

expand full story

The embattled monitor maker Proview, fighting Apple over rights to the iPad name in China, suffered a blow as the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court rejected a preliminary injunction against the sale of the iPad. This means Apple can continue selling iPads in its flagship Shanghai stores without fear (and embarrassment) of sales suspension.

The hearings are now postponed, because both companies are awaiting the results of a separate case in the Guangdong provincial high court, the Wall Street Journal reported today.

Proview had sought the injunction, saying it owns the iPad trademark in China. Apple, which contends that it previously purchased the rights to the iPad name from Proview, had applied in Shanghai to suspend proceedings on Wednesday. Ma Dongxiao, an attorney representing Proview, said the company doesn’t yet have a response.

expand full story

February 22, 2012

An important update as a Shanghai court hearing this morning confronted Shenzhen, China-based LCD display maker Proview and Apple of California, the maker of the widely popular iPad tablet. The high-profile hearing drew more than a hundred reporters. As you know, Proview is dreaming of a multi-billion dollar settlement for rights to the iPad name in China where Apple pushes aggressively with claims it acquired the iPad trademark in 2009 from Proview’s Taiwanese affiliate for about $55,000. Associated Press this morning described a heated exchange between cash-strapped Proview, which recently filed for bankruptcy, and the Silicon Valley giant. At stake: A countrywide import and export ban on the iPad that enjoys a 76 percent share in China.

If enforced, the ban could easily disrupt worldwide iPad availability, because the world’s largest contract manufacturer Foxconn at its plants in the Chinese province of Shenzhen manufactures the tablet. Worse, it could disrupt a future iPad 3 launch allegedly scheduled for March 7 unveiling. So yeah, it is all about money.

Proview representatives presented as court evidence the company’s 2000 iMac-lookalike named IPAD (pictured on the right). The lawyers came down with all guns blazing on Apple, and said: “Apple has no right to sell iPads under that name.” The company’s CEO told reporters “both sides have willingness to negotiate,” and asserted, “both sides will submit their plans before the talks,” because an out-of-court settlement “is quite possible.”

To this, Apple responded:

They have no market, no sales, no customers. They have nothing. The iPad is so popular that it is in short supply. We have to consider the public good.

Reuters followed up with another quote attributed to Apple’s legal team:

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.

Explaining Proview has not sold or marketed its IPAD computer system in years while Apple only began selling the iPad tablet in 2010, the company said the fact essentially invalidates Proview’s trademark. Lawyers for Proview cried foul, and claimed any public good achieved through the creation of iPad manufacturing jobs in China and tax revenues should not be confused with trademark infringement:

expand full story

February 21, 2012

Cash-strapped display maker Proview that sued Apple over the iPad moniker in China feels it has the Cupertino, Calif.-headquartered gadget giant right where it wants them, cornered against the wall. Just as the Intermediate People’s Court in Huizhou ruled last Friday that local distributors should stop selling iPads in China, Proview now told The Times of India it us ready to sit at the negotiating table, apparently telling Apple it has “peaceful intentions.”

The company wants money, is hoping for an out of court settlement, and it is shooting for as high as $2 billion for the I-PAD trademark in China. Legal representatives for the debt-laden company told the paper Tuesday:

We are now preparing for negotiations. The court cases will continue until we reach an agreement.

A court in Shanghai will begin hearings tomorrow on whether Proview’s claims have any merit and the ruling could take months, Reuters reported. Whether or not Proview’s strategy works, that is anyone’s guess at this point. Apple is even threatening to sue Proview over “defamatory statements.” This highlights Apple’s unwillingness to engage in trademark licensing talks with the Chinese firm that recently filed for bankruptcy…

expand full story

February 20, 2012

Pictured above: Proview’s iMac-like computer named iPAD, released 12 years ago.

The latest in an ongoing iPad trademark dispute in China comes as Shenzhen-based Proview claims a small victory in its pursue of a $2 billion compensation from Apple over the iPad moniker in China. According to a report filed by The Associated Press, Proview’s lawyer Xie Xianghui told the media Monday that the Intermediate People’s Court in Huizhou ruled last Friday that local distributors should stop selling iPads in the country.

Previous reports declared that commercial authorities in more than 40 Chinese cities were removing the device from store shelves. Apple appealed to Guangdong’s High Court against an earlier ruling in Proview’s favor, stressing in today’s statement its case is still pending in mainland China. It should be noted that Hong Kong’s and Mainland China’s legal systems are not very much alike.

PCWorld followed up with an update and said Apple will sue Proview’s lawyers and bosses for  “defamatory statements.” Folks familiar with Apple’s letter to Proview claim it reads: “It is inappropriate to release information contrary to the facts to the media, especially when such disclosures have the effect of wrongfully causing damage to Apple’s reputation.” The document is embedded below.

So, who is the biggest beneficiary of this brouhaha? Samsung— its Galaxy Tab family of tablets is after the same high-end of the market. Per IDC, Apple in the third quarter of 2011 moved 1.3 million iPads in China versus 58,000 Galaxy Tabs.

Once a well-known display maker, Proview is now strapped for cash and recently filed for bankruptcy. The company maintains it first used the iPAD moniker, which stands for “Internet Personal Access Device,” for its iMac-like computer dated back to 2000.

expand full story

February 15, 2012

Numerous online stores in China took the iPad off their shelves after Proview said Apple was breaking its trademark on the term “iPad.” The fight continues in court, but Apple released a statement today to China Daily about Proview’s allegations on Apple allegedly breaking the trademark.

“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,” according to the statement, which also said the case is still pending on the Chinese mainland.”

Apple said it purchased Proview’s iPad trademark over several years ago in 10 different countries. Proview is refusing to transfer the trademark, but Hong Kong courts have already sided with Apple, according to the statement.

Many accuse the Mainland Chinese government of favoring local companies in these types of matters, so it may not be easy to clear this hurdle for Apple. Chinese customs already said the iPad is too powerful to be banned; although, Proview tried to block iPads from coming in or going out of China earlier this week.

Proview countered the Hong Kong situation:

expand full story

A country-wide import and export ban on Apple’s iPad that ProView is pushing for over an ongoing litigation with the iPad moniker will not be easy to implement, or at least that is what Chinese customs officials told Reuters this morning. Chinese company ProView owns the “iPad” trademark and is petitioning Chinese customs to stop shipments of iPads in and out of the country.

Foxconn manufactures the iPads in Shenzhen, China, and such a ban would disrupt global iPad supply. Another result of the legal battle over the iPad name: At Apple’s request, online shopping websites Amazon China and Suning reportedly removed the iPad until the trademark dispute is resolved. Proview is hoping to extract an estimated $1.5 billion from Apple for the rights to use the iPad moniker in China.

The plan reportedly is not working as expected, because local customs think implementing a country-wide ban on such a successful and globally popular product would be impractical, to say the least. Moreover, customs authorities are unlikely to intervene in the trademark battle, or so the story has it. For its part, Proview insists it started developing a tablet called the iPad in 2000. The company’s boss Yang Long-san confirmed the latest development to the news gathering organization:

expand full story

February 14, 2012

Not content with officials yesterday confiscating iPads in Shijiazhuang over an ongoing litigation on the iPad moniker, Taiwanese company Proview Electronics is now looking to put a ban on both iPad imports and exports, according to Reuters. The company is already petitioning Chinese customs to stop shipments of iPads. Proview sued Apple last year over its “I-PAD” trademark and could seek up to $1.5 billion for the name from the Cupertino, Calif.-headquartered gadget powerhouse.

Apple is in an increasingly difficult place here. Considering every iPad is built in China (until Brazil plants go online), a full-blown export ban could disrupt the iPad business on a global scale. Proview’s legal position stems from Chinese laws that seek to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods in the country. The news gathering organization confirmed the development this morning:

A Chinese tech firm claiming to own the “iPad” trademark plans to seek a ban on shipments of Apple Inc’s computer tablets into and out of China, a lawyer for the company, Proview Technology (Shenzhen), said on Tuesday.

Proview also asked the country’s Administration Industry and Commerce to put in effect iPad confiscations in as much as 30 cities. Apple’s position in this dispute remains unchanged as a spokesperson re-iterated the official line:

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 in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter.

expand full story

December 7, 2011

Yesterday we told you that Apple’s lawsuit against Proview regarding the “iPad” trademark was rejected by a court in Shenzhen, which would make Proview the rightful owner until Apple decides to appeal the decision or settle with the company outside of court.

At the time we weren’t sure what exactly would be the next course of action for either company, but according to a new report from Financial Times, it appears Proview is attempting to block iPad sales by suing resellers in Southern China. Starting with the cities of Huizhou and Shenzhen, if the company is successful at blocking sales of the iPad there, they will then go after other Apple resellers throughout China.

Xie Xianghui, a lawyer presenting Proview, discussed the company’s new course of action:

We are starting with these two cities, and if we are successful in getting iPad sales stopped, we will consider going after Apple resellers elsewhere in China.

The Shenzhen Futian District Court will begin hearing one case on December 30, with another slated for January 7. There’s always the possibility that Apple will settle outside of the courts before then, as Proview’s financial troubles are clearly a motivating factor.
expand full story

June 5, 2013

iWatch-Edgar-5While Apple typically uses a shell corporation abroad to register for trademark names of upcoming, unreleased products, Russian newspaper Izvestia (via AppleInsider.ru) reports that the company has filed for the “iWatch” trademark in Russia, further fueling speculation that “iWatch” will be the name of Apple’s much rumored wearable, wristwatch device.

Tonight newspaper “Izvestia” gave a sensational news: the company Apple has filed with Rospatent application for registration of the trademark ” iWatch “. We think, do not even need to explain what this might mean.

While the report gives the impression that this is confirmation of an upcoming watch product from Apple, it’s of course not that simple. Apple has a couple times ran into issues with trademarks of new products, most notably with its long-lasting trademark battle over the iPad trademark in China and its decision to rename Apple TV from its original “iTV” moniker due to troubles with the British TV network of the same name. Apple, and most other companies for that matter, also typically trademark several names and variations prior to product releases that may or may not ever see the light of day. Apple would also have to go through a number of companies developing smart wristwatch-like devices that have filed for the trademark in the US (many as recently as February). expand full story

April 1, 2013

August 7, 2012

May 9, 2012

May 8, 2012

Submit a Tip


Submitting a tip constitutes permission to publish and syndicate. Please view our tips policy or see all contact options.

Powered by WordPress.com VIP