Proview profiled as a near-dead company with 'IPAD' name as its only major asset

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


Once a significant technology company with 18,000 employees, Proview is now a nearly dead operation where officials are banking on cashing in on a trademark dispute with Apple over the "iPad" name.



The trademark dispute between Apple and Proview was highlighted Tuesday in a feature published by Reuters. At the center of Proview is company owner Yang Long-san, who still dreams of a comeback with his floundering company, but those hopes are pinned largely on his company's dispute with Apple over the use of the "iPad" name.



The story reveals that Proview employed 18,000 people and had offices around the world at one point, but now it employs only a few hundred. None of its previous operations continue, as the primary focus at Proview now is the trademark case against Apple.



Proview owns the rights to the "IPAD" name in multiple territories, but some of those trademarks were sold in late 2009 to a special purpose company secretly made by Apple named IP Application Development Limited Ltd. Proview has accused Apple of multiple instances of fraud and unfair competition because the company did not reveal it was behind IP Application Development, or "IPAD," when it bought the rights to the name for $55,000.



Now Proview seeks up to $1.6 billion in compensation from Apple for the use of the iPad name. It has also sought to ban sales of the iPad in various cities in China, and is even trying to bar the exportation of the iPad from China, which would effectively bring global sales to a halt.



Proview has even taken its legal action to Apple's home turf, filing a lawsuit against the iPad maker in California earlier this month. Apple is accused in that suit of fraud by intentional misrepresentation, fraud by concealment, fraudulent inducement, and unfair competition.











At its peak, Proview was the manufacturer of a stripped-down PC it called the Internet Personal Access Device, or iPAD. The company also found some success building monitors before the global financial crisis hit and pushed it into bankruptcy.



Yang told Reuters he remains optimistic that his company will win the trademark battle with Apple. Then he will be in a position to rebuild his company and "overtake" his old competitors.



"I hope we can return to our glory days," he said. "I'm sure our shareholders are hoping the same."



But Yang and Proview suffered a major setback last week, when a Shanghai court sided with Apple and has allowed sales of the iPad to continue in that city. That decision will be reviewed by a higher court in the southern Chinese province of Guandong on Wednesday.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "I hope we can return to our glory days," he said. "I'm sure our shareholders are hoping the same."







    But...but...It's all one guy!
  • rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "I hope we can return to our glory days," he said. "I'm sure our shareholders are hoping the same."



    Fool me once... Shame on you!



    Fool me twice... Shame on me!

    /

    /

    /
  • jcdinkinsjcdinkins Posts: 82member
    Now they are saying Apple has the trademark but alas, were misled. Sheesh, pick a story and stick to it.
  • bilbo63bilbo63 Posts: 285member
    The iPad is Proview's last remaining asset? Really Proview? You already SOLD it. It is no longer your asset!



    Apple did what every other company does. They kept their identity a secret to prevent you from doing what you are now attempting to do ? gauge them. The only reason that the name iPad has ANY value whatsoever is because Apple built a great product. Proview had no hand in that.
  • eideardeideard Posts: 292member
    Sounds like the Republican Party brand name.
  • aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,538member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jcdinkins View Post


    Now they are saying Apple has the trademark but alas, were misled. Sheesh, pick a story and stick to it.



    At least the second story is accurate. I would much rather Apple fight the second battle in China than the first. It also has much lower down-side risk in my book.



    A quick way to value the iPad name before Apple invested into it is to look back on all the tampon jokes on this forum when announced, including the red MaxiPad holder. People HATED the name.
  • kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,108member
    So by now this guy has racked up way more in legal fees than he ever collected from selling the trademark in the first place. Wonder if his lawyers will end up being as badly screwed over as his shareholders.
  • wovelwovel Posts: 956member
    Best part of this story is how they clearly were trading on the iPod name for their Internet device, and where probably thrilled to make at least 55k off that misadventure. The 1.6 billion figure is absurd. The success of he iPad had nothing at all to do with heir device. In fact, in areas where their device was sold, it was most likely a hindrance.



    I know the creditors need to try and get some money out of this disaster, but this is just throwing good money after bad.
  • tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,463member
    I think Proview's outside counsel should be sanctioned for advising their clients that they have more than a ghost of a chance of winning this 'fraud by concealment' lawsuit. Since when is a corporation required to divulge its ownership structure when conducting normal business transactions?
  • xavier83xavier83 Posts: 63member
    "Proview has accused Apple of multiple instances of fraud and unfair competition because the company did not reveal it was behind IP Application Development, or "IPAD," when it bought the rights to the name for $55,000."



    55,000 hilarious
  • ljocampoljocampo Posts: 657member
    Nothing new here. All rehashed copy text. Must be a slow news day in need of clicks
  • rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    But...but...It's all one guy!



    His fate is to become a billionaire or just an other roomy in a chinese prison.



    At this point he probably has no other option as to continue his fight as hard as possible.



    But I am not going to feel sorry for that guy. His greedy intentions are so obvious. He deserves some timeout in a prison.
  • lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,357member
    This kind of reminds me of the Psystar saga. Charges were made about Apple "monopolizing" it's own Mac market. That didn't work either.
  • prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post


    Nothing new here. All rehashed copy text. Must be a slow news day in need of clicks



    The source article this is written off of by Reuters has some new information but it's mostly inaccurate. They talk about the "IPAD" computer Proview made without even mentioning that it was itself a rip-off of Apple's iMac design. Then they claim that Proview's "design" was later to be seen as the "Compaq iPaq."



    There is so much wrong with that it's hard to know where to start.
  • tleviertlevier Posts: 104member
    I seriously hope, that even if everything goes in Proview's favor, that Apple concedes the name and goes a different direction, instead of buying the Chinese rights. Then, with "iPad" in China as their only asset, they'll never be able to leave China with any product they produce and they'll still be de-listed and be fully insolvent.
  • applebirdapplebird Posts: 78member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eideard View Post


    Sounds like the Republican Party brand name.



  • 172pilot172pilot Posts: 3member
    So.. Let me get this straight.. They WILLINGLY sold the rights to the name for $55000, but because they weren't told what the buying company's intentions were for the name, they feel now that they are owed more money?



    Sorry guys.. That's not how it works, and if your whole remaining business model is the extortion of Apple, I hope you, and your lawyers go bankrupt.
  • tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,203member
    Proview's chance of winning in US court is slim. US trademark protection is intended to protect successful products from being exploited. This case is the other way around. Proview should give up. There are many storied of huge fortune lost like one of the original investor of Apple.
  • misamisa Posts: 747member
    Proview doesn't have a chance in hell of succeeding.



    If the Chinese courts find in favor of Proview, the short term damage is going to be Apple not branding the device in China, and re-branding outside of China, which is trivial, and Proview gains nothing. (See the Nintendo DS/iQue) They may also change the software branding for the Chinese model.



    But all this means is that the Chinese market gets models delayed further as extra work has to be done for the Chinese market.



    On the flip side, this would paint China again as a dishonest country that steals IP. From American's perspective, this is Proview stealing the iPad trademark that Apple legally purchased. China can't afford to have that image, as it will just send companies to build assembly factories outside of China in countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.



    The end-run around trademarks is to build factories where you own the trademark and has the cheapest labor cost.
  • jensonbjensonb Posts: 509member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 172pilot View Post


    So.. Let me get this straight.. They WILLINGLY sold the rights to the name for $55000, but because they weren't told what the buying company's intentions were for the name, they feel now that they are owed more money?



    Sorry guys.. That's not how it works, and if your whole remaining business model is the extortion of Apple, I hope you, and your lawyers go bankrupt.



    I know right? I can't figure out what their argument even is. So you sold to a shell company with a meaningful name, big whoop. It's hardly Apple's fault if your due diligence was insufficient. There's no law saying you have to tell someone what you're going to do with the thing you're buying, once you've bought it, it's yours. End of.



    I mean, this is how The Walt Disney Company acquired the land for Walt Disney World in Florida. Tale as old as time.
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