Lower Chinese court rules to halt iPad sales

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


Proview, the Shenzhen company that is claiming trademark rights to the 'iPad' name, said it won a small legal victory on Friday as the Intermediate People's Court in Huizhou handed down a ruling against the sale of Apple's ubiquitous tablet.



Citing a statement by Proview's lawyer Xie Xianghui, the Associated Press reported on Monday that the court in China's Guangdong province advised distributors to halt sales of the iPad, though it is unclear what effect the judgment will have on the ongoing dispute.



The ruling further muddies the already complex trademark battle that has seen Proview file suits against Apple in numerous courts; asking commercial authorities to block iPad sales in 40 cities.



Recent reports from customs officials in the country note that such a ban would be difficult to enforce, however, because of the popularity of the device.



There has been no official move to ban Apple's tablet in mainland China, though local authorities in select areas have seized at least 45 units.



Adding to the confusion are conflicting decisions from a December ruling in Proview's favor that is currently under appeal at the High Court in Guangdong, and an earlier ruling from a Hong Kong court that sided with Apple.



Perhaps most difficult is jurisdiction as the suit revolves around claims that Apple made an unauthorized transaction when it purchased the "iPad" name from a Taiwanese affiliate of Shenzhen's Proview Technology, which itself is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Proview International Holdings.





Proview's 'iPAD' computer. | Source: The Wall Street Journal







Proview sued Apple in 2011, claiming that not only is Apple using the "iPad" moniker illegally in China, but allege that the company surreptitiously acquired the trademark through U.K. proxy company IP Application Development in 2010.



The Chinese company is seeking $38 million in damages and an apology from the iPad maker.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Proview, the Shenzhen company that is claiming trademark rights to the 'iPad' name, said it won a small legal victory on Friday as the Intermediate People's Court in Huizhou handed down a ruling against the sale of Apple's ubiquitous tablet.



    Citing a statement by Proview's lawyer Xie Xianghui, the Associated Press reported on Monday that the court in China's Guangdong province advised distributors to halt sales of the iPad, though it is unclear what effect the judgment will have on the ongoing dispute.



    The ruling further muddies the already complex trademark battle that has seen Proview file suits against Apple in numerous courts; asking commercial authorities to block iPad sales in 40 cities.



    Recent reports from customs officials in the country note that such a ban would be difficult to enforce, however, because of the popularity of the device.



    There has been no official move to ban Apple's tablet in mainland China, though local authorities in select areas have seized at least 45 units.



    Adding to the confusion are conflicting decisions from a December ruling in Proview's favor that is currently under appeal at the High Court in Guangdong, and an earlier ruling from a Hong Kong court that sided with Apple.



    Perhaps most difficult is jurisdiction as the suit revolves around claims that Apple made an unauthorized transaction when it purchased the "iPad" name from a Taiwanese affiliate of Shenzhen's Proview Technology, which itself is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Proview International Holdings.





    Proview's 'iPAD' computer. | Source: The Wall Street Journal





    Proview sued Apple in 2011, claiming that not only is Apple using the "iPad" moniker illegally in China, but allege that the company surreptitiously acquired the trademark through U.K. proxy company IP Application Development in 2010.



    The Chinese company is seeking $38 million in damages and an apology from the iPad maker.



    [ View article on AppleInsider ]



    Wait. Is this something new, or is this the same court that already found infringement by Apple? Apple was reported to have appealed - is this the appeals court?



    Is this a second lower court also confirming that Apple is infringing on Proview's mark?



    Or what?
  • Reply 2 of 77
    Why does the picture look like the original iMac in white. They even call it the original Internet computer. So this company makes a clone of an Apple design calls it an iPad instead of iMac or iPod for obvious reasons, then sells the name to Apple for a pretty penny then extorts them for more money. Apple should sue them for design infringement and make sure they close their doors for good.
  • Reply 3 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by genovelle View Post


    Why does the picture look like the original iMac in white. They even call it the original Internet computer. So this company makes a clone of an Apple design calls it an iPad instead of iMac or iPod for obvious reasons, then sells the name to Apple for a pretty penny then extorts them for more money. Apple should sue them for design infringement and make sure they close their doors for good.



    I think it's time for the WTO to get involved. If China wants to enjoy the privileges of being a player in the world economy, it's time they stop acting like some adolescent 3rd-world country, accept their responsibilities and put an end to this sort of mickey mouse shit.
  • Reply 4 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by genovelle View Post


    Why does the picture look like the original iMac in white. They even call it the original Internet computer. So this company makes a clone of an Apple design calls it an iPad instead of iMac or iPod for obvious reasons, then sells the name to Apple for a pretty penny then extorts them for more money. Apple should sue them for design infringement and make sure they close their doors for good.



    I also notice the name is really I.P.A.D. not iPad since it stands for Internet Personal Access Device, it is an acronym. I wonder why this fact hasn't been mentioned. There is surely a world of difference between the two. Of course I know you can trademark an acronym but I just wonder if this might be a loop hole.
  • Reply 5 of 77
    Yeah, I'm Chinese American and this kinda shit makes me embarrassed. What assholes.
  • Reply 6 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I also notice the name is really I.P.A.D. not iPad since it stands for Internet Personal Access Device, it is an acronym. I wonder why this fact hasn't been mentioned. There is surely a world of difference between the two.



    If a company were to release a computer product in the USA called the I.P.A.D., would you defend their decision and say that there is a world of difference from Apple's trademark??
  • Reply 7 of 77
    How long has this product existed? I was reading the AI thread on this from 2010 and it seemed from what I could glean they didn't have this product then.
  • Reply 8 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    If a company were to release a computer product in the USA called the I.P.A.D., would you defend their decision and say that there is a world of difference from Apple's trademark??



    No, I said I understood an acronym can be trademarked, I was asking of in their legal paper work initially if the TM was for iPad or the acronym I.P.A.D.? Does registering an acronym automatically cover the proper noun is what I am saying I guess.



    I believe they started this action in 2010 and perhaps they have been maneuvering for a payout rather than really caring about their product. The pictured computer for example, did it even exist in 2010?



    Whatever, just speculating, I am confident Apple know what they are doing.
  • Reply 9 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by logic368 View Post


    Yeah, I'm Chinese American and this kinda shit makes me embarrassed. What assholes.



    Ahhhh finally someone that feels my pain. *Fist Pump* Brotha!
  • Reply 10 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    Wait. Is this something new, or is this the same court that already found infringement by Apple? Apple was reported to have appealed - is this the appeals court?



    Is this a second lower court also confirming that Apple is infringing on Proview's mark?



    Or what?



    This is a second lower court and a more recent ruling.
  • Reply 11 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    How long has this product existed? I was reading the AI thread on this from 2010 and it seemed from what I could glean they didn't have this product then.



    Not sure, but I think it's before the original iPad launch. Because it's obviously a ripoff of the iMac, so I can't imagine it took them 10 years to ripoff something from 1999.
  • Reply 12 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    If a company were to release a computer product in the USA called the I.P.A.D., would you defend their decision and say that there is a world of difference from Apple's trademark??



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    I think it's time for the WTO to get involved. If China wants to enjoy the privileges of being a player in the world economy, it's time they stop acting like some adolescent 3rd-world country, accept their responsibilities and put an end to this sort of mickey mouse shit.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I also notice the name is really I.P.A.D. not iPad since it stands for Internet Personal Access Device, it is an acronym. I wonder why this fact hasn't been mentioned. There is surely a world of difference between the two. Of course I know you can trademark an acronym but I just wonder if this might be a loop hole.



    Indeed, but it doesn't really matter because Mr. Yang, the guy in charge of all Proview companies including Proview Shenzen, sold all the use of iPad in various regions including mainland China to Apple at the end of 2009.



    There's nothing to really sum this up except pure criminal behaviour, by global/ WTO standards, by Mr. Yang, Proview and the Chinese authorities.



    Without going into my political tirades which I promised I wouldn't do in the iPad forum, this kind of behaviour is classic, well, unethical business practice, to say the least. The Hong Kong decision portrays how bad it really is, going as far as to characterise it as "conspiracy to cause injury", which certainly is not used lightly in the legal world.
  • Reply 13 of 77
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    As has been noted in the past, there's something very perverse about a country that generally takes a free-for-all view of piracy and knock-offs suddenly getting hard-nosed about trademark infringement. To be honest, I wonder how much of this is nationalism on the part of the courts, and how much is "If you help us win, I'll give you a cut."
  • Reply 14 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    If a company were to release a computer product in the USA called the I.P.A.D., would you defend their decision and say that there is a world of difference from Apple's trademark??



    What decision are you asking if we would defend? Apple bought the worldwide rights to iPad from Proview. There are emails from a lawyer at the Proview, Shenzen (the one that's suing now) saying that it is fine for the British company to make the payment to the Proview, Taiwan subsidiary for the trademarks. Saying that it didn't matter which one gets the money since they were all owned by the same parent company.



    As the Hong Kong court ruled last year Yang, the owner of all the Proviews, is trying to screw with Apple. He didn't realize that the UK company was going to turn the name over to Apple (lots of companies buy land, other companies, or IP legally in this way) and now he's mad because he thinks he missed a bigger payday.
  • Reply 15 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sunilraman View Post


    Indeed, but it doesn't really matter because Mr. Yang, the guy in charge of all Proview companies including Proview Shenzen, sold all the use of iPad in various regions including mainland China to Apple at the end of 2009.






    Wrong. Apple never bought the Chinese rights to the name. They dealt with a Taiwanese subsidiary who did not own the rights in China.



    Oops.
  • Reply 16 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    Wrong. Apple never bought the Chinese rights to the name. They dealt with a Taiwanese subsidiary who did not own the rights in China.



    Oops.



    Nah mate... http://www.hklii.hk/cgi-bin/sinodisp...2011/1375.html



    1a. There is only ONE person involved.

    There is the counter-claim here and in the media that Proview Shenzhen is somehow removed from Proview Taiwan. This is highly incorrect. See the Hong Kong decision:



    "Yang Long San, Rowell (“Yang”), a Taiwanese, is the founder of the Proview Group. He was at all material times the chairman and chief executive officer of Proview Holdings until he was adjudicated bankrupt on 2 August 2010. Other companies of the Proview Group that feature in these proceedings are Proview Electronics, a Taiwan company, Proview Shenzhen and Yoke Technology, both being Shenzhen companies. Yang was at all material times the responsible person and director of Proview Electronics. He was also the legal representative, general manager and chairman of both Proview Shenzhen and Yoke Technology and remains so despite his bankruptcy."



    1b. Hence Mr. Yang is at all times the one and only person involved in this.



    1c. The "oh it's the parent company" is, well, nonsense:



    "Here, the conduct of all the defendants demonstrate that they have combined together with the common intention of injuring Apple and IP Application by acting in breach of the Agreement. Proview Holdings, Proview Electronics and Proview Shenzhen, all clearly under Yang’s control, have refused to take any steps to ensure compliance with the Agreement so that the China Trademarks are properly assigned or transferred to IP Application. Instead, they attempted to exploit the situation as a business opportunity for the Proview Group by seeking an amount of US$10,000,000 from Apple."
  • Reply 17 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    Wrong. Apple never bought the Chinese rights to the name. They dealt with a Taiwanese subsidiary who did not own the rights in China.



    Oops.



    Wow, I'm glad you were there and know all that went on in the communications and with the transaction. Stupid Apple for not thinking about buying the trademark for the most populous nation on earth.



    /s
  • Reply 18 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post


    What decision are you asking if we would defend?



    The decision by some company to release a computer product named the I.P.A.D. in the USA.











    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post


    Apple bought the worldwide rights to iPad from Proview.



    They bought the rights in 10 countries from a Taiwanese subsidiary. That company did not own the rights in China. Instead, a different subsidiary owned the Chinese rights.



    The situation is like two brothers owning different houses in different countries. The Taiwanese brother sells all his real estate to Apple. The Chinese brother rightfully objects when Apple tries to evict him.



    The Hong Kong Father (Proview International Holdings) is who you refer to when you say "Proview" without qualification. The parent company has no obligation to throw his Chinese son out in the street due to the actions of his Taiwanese son.
  • Reply 19 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    They bought the rights in 10 countries from a Taiwanese subsidiary. That company did not own the rights in China. Instead, a different subsidiary owned the Chinese rights.



    The situation is like two brothers owning different houses in different countries. The Taiwanese brother sells all his real estate to Apple. The Chinese brother rightfully objects when Apple tries to evict him.



    The Hong Kong Father (Proview International Holdings) is who you refer to when you say "Proview" without qualification. The parent company has no obligation to throw his Chinese son out in the street due to the actions of his Taiwanese son.



    Incorrect, see above. There is no brother, father, mother, sister, uncle. It's all one guy.
  • Reply 20 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post


    Wow, I'm glad you were there and know all that went on in the communications and with the transaction. Stupid Apple for not thinking about buying the trademark for the most populous nation on earth.



    /s



    As you rightly imply, Apple is not dumb, Apple did buy the China Trademarks, again from the Hong Kong decision:



    "...The Written Agreement and the Country Assignments executed on 23 December 2009 expressly stated that Proview Electronics was the proprietor of the Subject Trademarks including the China Trademarks and that Proview Electronics warranted that it was the unencumbered sole owner of the Subject Trademarks including the China Trademarks. The Country Assignment pertaining to the China Trademarks (?the China Country Assignment?) also recited that Proview Electronics was the proprietor of the China Trademarks. However, after Apple had announced the launch of iPads in January 2010, it was discovered that the China Trademarks were in fact registered in the name of Proview Shenzhen. The China Country Assignment was accordingly ineffective in assigning the China Trademarks to IP Application."
Sign In or Register to comment.