Hong Kong court sided with Apple in iPad trademark dispute with Proview

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


Though Apple has had difficulty convincing mainland courts that it is the rightful owner of the iPad trademark in China, a newly discovered ruling from a Hong Kong court shows that the company won a victory there last year against beleaguered display maker Proview.



The Wall Street Journal uncovered a "not previously reported" court decision from the High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region last July that upheld Apple's claim to the iPad trademark in mainland China.



"The court said Proview had breached an earlier agreement to transfer the iPad name to Apple," the report noted.



Court documents stated that Proview had elected not to transfer the mark after the deal was made and instead asked Apple to pay $10 million for it. The ruling determined that Proview, its subsidiaries and another company had conspired against Apple by breaching the government. The company was found to have "attempted to exploit the situation as a business opportunity," according to the documents.



"It is accordingly important that (Apple) is able to secure and obtain the China trademarks," the decision read.



After voicing public threats of legal action, Proview sued Apple late last year, alleging trademark infringement. Apple countered with its own suit in mainland China, but the court sided with Proview. An appeal from Apple is currently pending.



The company's aggressive efforts to block sales of the iPad in China have been viewed as a last-ditch attempt to drum up cash in the face of financial troubles. The company was placed in the third stage of delisting procedures on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange late last year and will reportedly be removed from the exchange in June if it is unable to turn its fate around. Chinese media highlighted the company's struggles on Thursday by publishing photos of abandoned and "devastated" Proview facilities in Southern China.





"No thoroughfare" sign at former Proview plant. | Credit: Caixin






Abandoned Proview facility in Shenzhen, China. | Credit: Caixin







Officials in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province confiscated 45 iPad units last week after Proview filed a complaint with the local office for the Administration of Industry and Commerce, which has authority over trademarks. Reuters reported on Wednesday that iPads were being taking off retail shelves in multiple cities throughout the country.



Proview has even filed complaints with China's customs bureau in an attempt to block iPad units from being imported and/or shipped overseas, thereby choking off the global supply of Apple's touchscreen tablet. Customs authorities responded to Proview's request by noting that such a ban would be "difficult to implement" because of the popularity of the iPad among Chinese consumers, as well as the size of the Chinese market.





The launch of the iPad 2 in China drew crowds to Apple's flagship Beijing Sanlitun store last year.





[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • dickprinterdickprinter Posts: 1,060member
    After having been burnt in the past in one way or another, I think Apple makes doubly sure they dot their I's and cross their T's.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    It really doesn't sound like Proview has any case. The High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region seems like it's in line with what most suspected. Even if China doesn't see it the same way if I were Apple I would spend even more money paying out to Chinese officials to crush Proview than pay Proview off just to make a make a point.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post


    After having been burnt in the past in one way or another, I think Apple makes doubly sure they dot their I's and cross their T's.



    With that many products starting with a lower-case 'i' I sure hope so.
  • asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    So they signed an agreement to transfer the trademark to Apple, but didn't actually go to the trademark office and do it. That clarifies things.



    If that's true, the higher court should overrule. A district court might favour the locals but a higher court will prob. be more objective.
  • zozmanzozman Posts: 389member
    Hahahaha funny stuff
  • rbryanhrbryanh Posts: 263member
    Would anyone mind terribly if I jumped up and down, screaming "I don't care! I don't care! I don't care!" in response to this?



    Frankly, if iI have to face one more iWord, iI am going to dr iVe to Cupert iNo to comm iT an iDrivebiEye, in defense of what's left of the English language.



    Given that our elected officials have proved themselves manifestly useless when it comes to legislating anything that actually matters, might we at least get them to forbid trademarking any word that can't be found in, say, the Scrabble dictionary?



    Except of course for eCrap?. I think we really need to hang on to eCrap?. That's a definite yes to eCrap?, and a resounding no to everth iNg else.
  • ljocampoljocampo Posts: 657member
    I hope Apple and every other American company that out-sources its manufacturing take this as a lesson why it's better "Made in American by Americans." China might have been good for the bottom line in the past but not so much anymore, particularly with right-to-work States. The US Government today loves to regulate. They should legislate an end to out-sourcing without a heavy tax burden. Sure it's protectionism and goes against my Republican proclivities but I believe if you want American protection for your company, then your product should be made in American by Americans.



    Call me what you want. I don't care.
  • rbryanhrbryanh Posts: 263member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    So they signed an agreement to transfer the trademark to Apple, but didn't actually go to the trademark office and do it. That clarifies things.



    If that's true, the higher court should overrule. A district court might favour the locals but a higher court will prob. be more objective.



    The court should gather everyone involved together and spray them with freezing water from a firehose until they all admit they're idiots, go home, and stop drawing attention to themselves.
  • sflocalsflocal Posts: 3,490member
    And the iHaters as usual are shooting from the hips without waiting till the facts start coming out.
  • asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post


    The court should gather everyone involved together and spray them with freezing water from a firehose until they all admit they're idiots, go home, and stop drawing attention to themselves.



    China's Judge Judy?
  • rbryanhrbryanh Posts: 263member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post


    I hope Apple and every other American company that out-sources its manufacturing take this as a lesson why it's better "Made in American by Americans." China might have been good for the bottom line in the past but not so much anymore, particularly with right-to-work States. The US Government today loves to regulate. They should legislate an end to out-sourcing without a heavy tax burden. Sure it's protectionism and goes against my Republican proclivities but I believe if you want American protection for your company, then your product should be made in American by Americans.



    Call me what you want. I don't care.



    Not to worry. I'm sure all American sweatshop outsourcing will come marchin' home again just as soon as your confreres have eliminated those pesky safe workplace and quality of life regulations that keep the free, free, free at last! market from working its magic.



    Once desperate Americans have to choose between starvation and handling toxic materials in 30 hour shifts, they'll be no need to exploit Chinese peasants. The 1% have quite correctly perceived that what's needed here is to go back to the days when we had our own peasants. It would make an appropriate campaign slogan for the coming election? "America! Peasants second to none!" And really, having failed to educate our young to the point where they're capable of anything else, what's left except to put them on the assembly line?
  • jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,269member
    The timing doesn't make a lot of sense. If Apple bought the trademark in 2006, Apple had 4 years to make sure Proview transferred the trademark before the iPad was announced. Did Proview back out of the iPad trademark transfer process BEFORE they figured out that the buyer was secretly Apple?
  • realisticrealistic Posts: 1,111member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post


    Would anyone mind terribly if I jumped up and down, screaming "I don't care! I don't care! I don't care!" in response to this?



    Frankly, if iI have to face one more iWord, iI am going to dr iVe to Cupert iNo to comm iT an iDrivebiEye, in defense of what's left of the English language.



    Given that our elected officials have proved themselves manifestly useless when it comes to legislating anything that actually matters, might we at least get them to forbid trademarking any word that can't be found in, say, the Scrabble dictionary?



    Except of course for eCrap™. I think we really need to hang on to eCrap™. That's a definite yes to eCrap™, and a resounding no to everth iNg else.



    iMay be wrong but last iKnew proper nouns were not iN the Srabble dictiionary. Last iKnew product names were cons iDered proper nouns. iDon'r know, iCould be wrong but iThink iM right.
  • asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post


    I hope Apple and every other American company that out-sources its manufacturing take this as a lesson why it's better "Made in American by Americans." China might have been good for the bottom line in the past but not so much anymore, particularly with right-to-work States. The US Government today loves to regulate. They should legislate an end to out-sourcing without a heavy tax burden. Sure it's protectionism and goes against my Republican proclivities but I believe if you want American protection for your company, then your product should be made in American by Americans.



    Call me what you want. I don't care.



    The US is still the biggest manufacturer in the world. In 2010 it manufactured $3.2 trillion worth of goods as against $2.7 trillion in China. US manufacturing has never been higher.



    The only reason China has so many more jobs in this sector is that it is a lower tech operation. If you want the US to become lower tech you can have your jobs back, but that would suck.



    The way forward is to create new things, new industries...
  • ljocampoljocampo Posts: 657member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post


    Not to worry. I'm sure all American sweatshop outsourcing will come marchin' home again just as soon as your confreres have eliminated those pesky safe workplace and quality of life regulations that keep the free, free, free at last! market from working its magic.



    Once desperate Americans have to choose between starvation and handling toxic materials in 30 hour shifts, they'll be no need to exploit Chinese peasants. The 1% have quite correctly perceived that what's needed here is to go back to the days when we had our own peasants. It would make an appropriate campaign slogan for the coming election? "America! Peasants second to none!" And really, having failed to educate our young to the point where they're capable of anything else, what's left except to put them on the assembly line?



    That's just a lot of class warfare bull crap you're talking about. You must be one of those demo-nazis working on the Obama campaign.



    I was talking purely Nationalistic. We have plenty of products made in American that don't come from a sweat shop or factory spilling toxic waste. I'm not against reasonable environmental regulation and don't believe many others are too. I'm proud to be an American. Fought for my country. Live and work in America. That's pride, not the 1% against the 99% bull crap.
  • ljocampoljocampo Posts: 657member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    The US is still the biggest manufacturer in the world. In 2010 it manufactured $3.2 trillion worth of goods as against $2.7 trillion in China. US manufacturing has never been higher.



    The only reason China has so many more jobs in this sector is that it is a lower tech operation. If you want the US to become lower tech you can have your jobs back, but that would suck.



    The way forward is to create new things, new industries...



    I didn't know those statistics. I'm glad to hear them if true. About the way forward, that might be very true, at least I agree with it, but wisdom also says never burn your bridges! There are plenty of low-tech people, here in the USA, who would love to have those jobs. Besides, just last week in the news it was said that Foxconn hires more engineers than most American companies do.
  • asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post


    I didn't know those statistics. I'm glad to hear them if true. About the way forward, that might be very true, at least I agree with it, but wisdom also says never burn your bridges! There are plenty of low-tech people, here in the USA, who would love to have those jobs. Besides, just last week in the news it was said that Foxconn hires more engineers than most American companies do.



    I just got it from Wiki who is quoting CIA World Factbook.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...or_composition
  • darrynlowedarrynlowe Posts: 42member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post


    Given that our elected officials have proved themselves manifestly useless when it comes to legislating anything that actually matters, might we at least get them to forbid trademarking any word that can't be found in, say, the Scrabble dictionary?



    The Scrabble dictionary is crap. They removed jandal from the dictionary but allowed words like thang, innit, tik, gak, wiki, blog, keema, and aloo.



    Footwear isn't allowed but drug terms are? That makes no sense.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by darrynlowe View Post


    The Scrabble dictionary is crap. They removed jandal from the dictionary but allowed words like thang, innit, tik, gak, wiki, blog, keema, and aloo.



    Footwear isn't allowed but drug terms are? That makes no sense.



    Those are very specific words you found. None of those words are even found in SOWPODS which is used in international tournament Scrabble so I guess it's just something specific for the Scrabble dictionary for casual players.



    According to Wikipedia:
    "Variant spellings, slang or offensive terms, archaic or obsolete terms, and specialized jargon words are allowed if they meet all other criteria for acceptability. Foreign words are not allowed in the English language Scrabble unless they have been incorporated into the English language – for example, the words "patisserie" and "glace"."
    That explains common slang but what about Jandal? It's technically a trademark and even though it is demotic its colloquial use is only common in NZ. That makes it quite regional and therefore foreign from Hasbro's PoV.
  • realisticrealistic Posts: 1,111member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by darrynlowe View Post


    The Scrabble dictionary is crap. They removed jandal from the dictionary but allowed words like thang, innit, tik, gak, wiki, blog, keema, and aloo.



    Footwear isn't allowed but drug terms are? That makes no sense.



    Jandal is a trademark for Japanese sandal = proper noun hence not allowed in Scrabble.
  • winstein2010winstein2010 Posts: 401member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post


    The timing doesn't make a lot of sense. If Apple bought the trademark in 2006, Apple had 4 years to make sure Proview transferred the trademark before the iPad was announced. Did Proview back out of the iPad trademark transfer process BEFORE they figured out that the buyer was secretly Apple?



    I suspect Proview was a Taiwanese company at first, got into financial trouble, like many other companies in similar situation, went to China and raised money from the local Chinese government, and bought out shares of the Taiwanese company shares.



    This may be why the local court is on Proview's side, claiming "global" does not mean China domestic, claiming Chinese trademark laws are complicated... etc. trying to get a big payday.



    I think eventually, Apple will have to go to the Beijing Supreme Court or something, and have the central government overriding the local rulings and Proview officials might get arrested for corruption charges.
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