Proview creditor calls for bankruptcy as iPad trademark suit drags on

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


As the legal battle between Proview and Apple over the iPad trademark in China continues, one creditor has become unwilling to wait for a settlement and has applied to have the ailing monitor maker declared bankrupt.



The Associated Press reports that Fubon Insurance, which is owed $8.68 million by Proview, is seeking to have the company liquidated. A Chinese official, who identified himself only by his surname, in Shenzhen said an announcement about the bankruptcy will come soon.



"It's a sensitive case in a sensitive period of time, so we won't comment or release information while we will have an announcement in the near future," he said.



Ma Dongxiao, a lawyer for Proview, assured that any financial problems the company is experiencing would not affect the ongoing trademark case. Apple is currently appealing a lower court decision that ruled in favor of Proview.



According to reports out of mainland China, Proview had requested that Fubon wait until it had resolved its complaint against Apple, but Fubon rejected the request. A lawyer for the insurance company reportedly said that her client was not convinced that any compensation payments from Apple would be enough for Proview to pay back its debts, which are said to be barely covered by its current assets.



Recent profiles of Proview have characterized it as being on its death bed. The company, which is at risk of being delisted from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, formerly made computer monitors, but its main business now comes from LED street lights. Owner Yang Long-san has said that a win against Apple would help him rebuild the company and "overtake" its competitors.





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







Proview has been vocal about its interest in negotiating a settlement with Apple, but, as of last week, the two companies had yet to initiate formal negotiations. Apple continues to insist that it is the rightful owner of the Chinese iPad trademark through a deal that took place in 2009.



Apple has threatened Proview with a defamation countersuit over allegations that the company has made false or misleading public statements about the trademark suit. Proview has responded by accusing Apple of fraud and unfair competition because the iPad maker used an intermediary to negotiate the deal for the trademark.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Owner Yang Long-san has said that a win against Apple would help him rebuild the company and "overtake" its competitors.]



    "Solipsism has said that a win against Apple by Proview would be an indication to procure sturdy umbrellas that can withstand the force of excrement from flying pigs."
  • macky the mackymacky the macky Posts: 4,622member
    If Fubar Insurance had any shred of confidence that Proview would prevail against Apple it would have not pushed for bankruptcy. This action is telling in itself.



    Apple would never pay $2 billion to make this go away, and for Proview, anything less than $2 billion won't save the company.
  • bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    AWWWWWWWWWWWWwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
  • macky the mackymacky the macky Posts: 4,622member
    The photo caption read, "No thoroughfare" sign at a former Proview plant.



    The actual translation is, "Danger, falling Yang Long-san."
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,115member
    Quote:

    Owner Yang Long-san has said that a win against Apple would help him rebuild the company and "overtake" its competitors



    With what? A new line of... LED street lights? Seriously, with what? They'd just blow whatever settlement money they got on lawyers fees and mediocrity.
  • ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    According to reports out of mainland China, Proview had requested that Fubon wait until it had resolved its complaint against Apple, but Fubon rejected the request. A lawyer for the insurance company reportedly said that her client wanted some of the remaining funds before Proview's lawyers got the last of it.



    There. Fixed that for you.
  • lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 520member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


    The photo caption read, "No thoroughfare" sign at a former Proview plant.



    The actual translation is, "Danger, falling Yang Long-san."



    Very good
  • dunksdunks Posts: 1,168member
    Well at least it's now clear what the motivation behind the trademark dispute was.
  • sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    "Solipsism has said that a win against Apple by Proview would be an indication to procure sturdy umbrellas that can withstand the force of excrement from flying pigs."



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


    If Fubar Insurance had any shred of confidence that Proview would prevail against Apple it would have not pushed for bankruptcy. This action is telling in itself.



    Apple would never pay $2 billion to make this go away, and for Proview, anything less than $2 billion won't save the company.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dunks View Post


    Well at least it's now clear what the motivation behind the trademark dispute was.



    Ironically, I thought Proview was already bankrupt? Which is what a lot of people were arguing, that since Proview is bankrupt the creditors are the owners of the China iPad trademarks.



    A few users made very lengthy arguments that the creditors own the trademarks. But how can they? Unless it has been transferred to them, or the company becomes officially bankrupt and hence then goes into "administration" whereby the administrator then divies up the loot to creditors.



    Moreover, that argument was used as such... Proview sold China Trademarks to Apple, but document still says Proview. So, Apple doesn't own it. Then they argued that creditors now own Proview (in some way?), so creditors own China Trademarks. But on the document it still says Proview. So, what's going on? How can Apple not own it and the ceditors do when the original document still shows it has not been transferred out of Proview? What ownership do the creditors have over Proview if Proview is not officially bankrupt? Did Mr. Yang borrow several mil from some guy in a suit sitting in a warehouse that now wants his money back?



    Don't forget there is still no news of what motivated the confiscations of the iPads in China ~ was it a local directive, state, national, court order (which court?) which authorised the confiscations? Or just "officials" doing whatever they wanted.



    Without going into my usual rant (that has been channeled to http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=143990), mark my words, this is precisely the kind of fungal infection of decent, hard-working people in Asia. Why they spend their entire life savings to move to Australia to make the pizza I had for lunch ~ on a lighter note, reminded me of that "mom and pop" episode in Seinfeld ~ were they really a mom and pop?.
  • sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    With what? A new line of... LED street lights? Seriously, with what? They'd just blow whatever settlement money they got on lawyers fees and mediocrity.



    It's just hot air, a common business tactic.
  • macky the mackymacky the macky Posts: 4,622member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sunilraman View Post


    Ironically, I thought Proview was already bankrupt? Which is what a lot of people were arguing, that since Proview is bankrupt the creditors are the owners of the China iPad trademarks.



    There has been some inaccurate comments, but while Proview has no income to speak of and $2 billion of debts, bankruptcy was where this train wreck was headed.



    It only takes one creditor to demand that Proview declare bankruptcy, and Fubar Insurance just did that.



    The lawyers are likely working on a percentage of whatever settlement they can force out of Apple, so for the lawyers it's something or nothing. That's why they have been signaling for a settlement, any settlement. But for Yang Long-san, who is personally signed for almost a billion of the company debt, he wants to wring $2 billion out of Apple and that's not going to happen. He needed to do this before one of the creditors forced bankruptcy. He was rolling the dice for all or nothing and crapped out.
  • penchantedpenchanted Posts: 1,070member
    As I suggested earlier, I see the invisible hand of the Chinese government moving the pieces about to make sure that thousands of Chinese workers are not idled even as the Chinese economy already shows signs of cooling off.



    With an opaque judicial system and lots of political pressure, look for rulings to steadily pile up against Proview as the creditors pick the bones of its carcass. Yang just refuses to acknowledge that Proview is dead.
  • anakin1992anakin1992 Posts: 283member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by penchanted View Post


    As I suggested earlier, I see the invisible hand of the Chinese government moving the pieces about to make sure that thousands of Chinese workers are not idled even as the Chinese economy already shows signs of cooling off.



    With an opaque judicial system and lots of political pressure, look for rulings to steadily pile up against Proview as the creditors pick the bones of its carcass. Yang just refuses to acknowledge that Proview is dead.



    i am not following you. the picture in the article said proview closed and building is empty and deserted. do you see any idling chinese workers in the building? a closed factory is the sign that chinese economy is cooling off?



    by opaque, do you mean that chinese court is a black box system? can you provide any specific "opaque" issue you saw in chinese judicial system? have you been through any chinese courts? lower, intermediate, or high court?



    please provide some concrete data to support your points.
  • penchantedpenchanted Posts: 1,070member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anakin1992 View Post


    i am not following you. the picture in the article said proview closed and building is empty and deserted. do you see any idling chinese workers in the building? a closed factory is the sign that chinese economy is cooling off?



    by opaque, do you mean that chinese court is a black box system? can you provide any specific "opaque" issue you saw in chinese judicial system? have you been through any chinese courts? lower, intermediate, or high court?



    please provide some concrete data to support your points.



    I had commented in another thread the other day that this will boil down to a politcal decision (just my hypothesis).



    The idled Chinese workers would be those who would otherwise be working on the iPad assembly lines and for their suppliers.



    No I haven't been through the Chinese court system but much has been written about the opaqeness of their system. You need a system like that to convict political prisoners because they dare write something unflattering about the Communist leadership on an internet site.
  • irelandireland Posts: 15,708member
    Proview are going to lose this one. They were too greedy and it's going to bite them.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sunilraman View Post


    Ironically, I thought Proview was already bankrupt? Which is what a lot of people were arguing, that since Proview is bankrupt the creditors are the owners of the China iPad trademarks.



    Proview's future is already in the hands of the bankruptcy court. They can not spend money or dispose of assets without court approval. There is not yet a final decision on disposal of the assets or restructuring to allow them to emerge from bankruptcy.
  • haarhaar Posts: 520member
    this person wants to force Insolvency so that, they can then turn around and say that apple bought the trademark at a under-value so that Trustee in backruptcy can take it back and resell it for it's market value... (Insolvency Act... 5 or 2 year rule for undervalue/gifts; assuming that the china Insolvency Act is similar to usa's and canada's)



    Apple is fighting hard to prove that it was a good faith sale (at a fair market rate), so that the trustee won't take it back and resell it. (and proview is saying that a division sold it, and they made a mistake, thus sold it undervalued).

    nice tactic, but I believe it was a good faith sale, and wasn't unvalued at the time...
  • festerfeetfesterfeet Posts: 108member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anakin1992 View Post


    i am not following you. the picture in the article said proview closed and building is empty and deserted. do you see any idling chinese workers in the building? a closed factory is the sign that chinese economy is cooling off?



    by opaque, do you mean that chinese court is a black box system? can you provide any specific "opaque" issue you saw in chinese judicial system? have you been through any chinese courts? lower, intermediate, or high court?



    please provide some concrete data to support your points.



    I think the poster was intimating that if this case was lost then there would be a lot of Foxconn employees standing idle rather than Proview workers.



    I personally do not think this is a political move on behalf of the Party or the Government (usually the same thing but not always. Fubon is a privately held company based in Taiwan not mainland china (unlike most of the creditors which are banks and Chinese state owned banks at that). I am guessing that Fubon's debt is high enough up the pecking order that they still stand a chance of recovering most if not all the outstanding amount as long as the company does spend anymore on legal fees. They probably allowed Proview to see what they could win over a certain period or a limited expenditure but have hit the escape button now.



    As to Chinese courts being opaque yes there are a reasonable number of well documented cases where the judgement has been inexplicable given the stated law and the supporting evidence. This is why my advice (both received and given) is that you rely on the courts as a measure of last resort. If you can find a way to make a settlement beforehand then you are almost always better to take it unless you are very sure of your hand (and that doesn't mean you have to be legally in the right).



    It is just that the rules are sometimes different here and they can change awfully quickly
  • festerfeetfesterfeet Posts: 108member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by haar View Post


    this person wants to force Insolvency so that, they can then turn around and say that apple bought the trademark at a under-value so that Trustee in backruptcy can take it back and resell it for it's market value... (Insolvency Act... 5 or 2 year rule for undervalue/gifts; assuming that the china Insolvency Act is similar to usa's and canada's) - It's not!



    Apple is fighting hard to prove that it was a good faith sale (at a fair market rate), so that the trustee won't take it back and resell it. (and proview is saying that a division sold it, and they made a mistake, thus sold it undervalued).

    nice tactic, but I believe it was a good faith sale, and wasn't unvalued at the time...



    - In your book it was a good faith sale and in my book too but that doesn't mean it is in the Little Red Book believe me.\
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by sunilraman View Post


    Ironically, I thought Proview was already bankrupt? Which is what a lot of people were arguing, that since Proview is bankrupt the creditors are the owners of the China iPad trademarks.



    A few users made very lengthy arguments that the creditors own the trademarks. But how can they? Unless it has been transferred to them, or the company becomes officially bankrupt and hence then goes into "administration" whereby the administrator then divies up the loot to creditors.



    Moreover, that argument was used as such... Proview sold China Trademarks to Apple, but document still says Proview. So, Apple doesn't own it. Then they argued that creditors now own Proview (in some way?), so creditors own China Trademarks. But on the document it still says Proview. So, what's going on? How can Apple not own it and the ceditors do when the original document still shows it has not been transferred out of Proview? What ownership do the creditors have over Proview if Proview is not officially bankrupt? Did Mr. Yang borrow several mil from some guy in a suit sitting in a warehouse that now wants his money back?




    IIRC, the Hong Kong company is bankrupt. It is the eSchenzen company which owns the trademark in China.



    Jrag is the one who says that Apple cannot have purchased the trademark because of the creditor control. But he has been confused about the identities of the three companies.
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