Chinese iPad trademark suit seen as chance for Samsung, Lenovo to gain on Apple

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


Apple's continuing struggles over ownership of the "iPad" name in China are viewed by industry watchers as an opportunity for rivals Samsung and Lenovo to gain some ground in the massive market.



The ongoing Proview lawsuit was portrayed as a "window of opportunity" afforded to Apple's rivals in a new report from Reuters on Monday. It included comments from three analysts based out of the Far East who believe that Samsung and Lenovo are both beneficiaries from Apple's misfortune.



"Samsung will probably benefit more from Apple's ongoing lawsuit because both of them are after the same higher-end consumers, given their price points," said Dickie Chang of IDC. "The impact on Lenovo may be less because Lepads are lower priced and are aimed more at entry-level users."



While the iPad 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab are at about the same price of 3,688 yuan, the Android-powered Lenovo Lepad is available for about half that price. In the third quarter of last year, Apple's iPad is estimated to have sold 1.3 million units in China, while Lenovo sold around 120,000 Lepads and Samsung sold about 58,000 Galaxy Tabs.



China could be pivotal in the worldwide tablet market, as the nation of 1.3 billion people now has 505 million active Internet users. China has become an increasingly important segment of Apple's business, and last October was revealed to be the company's second largest market. Officials at Apple have said they are only "scratching the surface" in China.



Though the iPad is the leading touchscreen tablet in China, industry watchers believe Samsung and Lenovo could gain some ground because of Apple's ongoing trademark dispute with Proview. The company has asked for as much as $2 billion in return for Apple's use of the "iPad" name, which Proview first used for its "Internet Personal Access Device" computer.











Proview won another small legal victory last week, when a lower Chinese court barred sales of the iPad in China's Guangdong province. But Chinese customs officials have indicated that a ban on the importation and exportation of the iPad in China would be difficult to enforce.



Though there hasn't been an official ban on the iPad in mainland China, local authorities in select areas have seized at least 45 units. A court ruling from December in Proview's favor is also currently under appeal at the High Court in Guangdong.



Proview believes that Apple's purchase of the iPad name from one of its Taiwanese affiliates was an unauthorized transaction. For its part, Apple has contended that Proview "refuses to honor" the existing agreement between the two companies.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple's continuing struggles over ownership of the "iPad" name in China are viewed by industry watchers as an opportunity for rivals Samsung and Lenovo to gain some ground in the massive market.








    Apple needs better lawyers.
  • ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 2,606member
    What misfortune? Apple could easily just make a change to the name for China only. Everyone who still wants one will know what it is and won't care. As to the rest of the world, if Proview tries to ban export than all Apple has to do is make them in China minus any trademark dress, ship them to a country where they own the iPad name, and put the trademark on them during final packaging. It would be a bit of a hassle for Apple, but nothing too difficult to do in the short term.
  • tooltalktooltalk Posts: 766member
    Apple has $100 gazillion. What'$35m? Besides apple loves patent/trademark lawsuits._
  • rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    Apple needs better lawyers.



    Nah they just need to bribe these chinese judges twice as high as proview does. It can't be that much, since they are broke already.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,544member
    IMO I don't see any "window of opportunity" that Apple can't close. They could probably settle the whole thing before the day is out if you chose to.
  • markbyrnmarkbyrn Posts: 560member
    slow news day i guess
  • applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,242member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post


    What misfortune? Apple could easily just make a change to the name for China only. Everyone who still wants one will know what it is and won't care. As to the rest of the world, if Proview tries to ban export than all Apple has to do is make them in China minus any trademark dress, ship them to a country where they own the iPad name, and put the trademark on them during final packaging. It would be a bit of a hassle for Apple, but nothing too difficult to do in the short term.





    Apple is probably preparing for that just in case the Chinese higher courts are crooked enough to side with Proview. Apple must make sure that Proview does not get squat for their double dipping efforts. If only to let other companies know that this double dipping crap does not work with Apple.



    Time will tell.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post


    Nah they just need to bribe these chinese judges twice as high as preview does.





    Did apple bribe the judge in Hong Kong?
  • wovelwovel Posts: 949member
    Why would provide suing Apple make Chinese people stupid? Oh look so,e company is trying to extort money from Apple. Let's all go by a pos table with no apps. Who comes up with this crap.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    IMO I don't see any "window of opportunity" that Apple can't close. They could probably settle the whole thing before the day is out if you chose to.



    The company wants billions and an apology. Giving them that to end this would be foolish for many reasons. Agreeing to a lowered extortion rate now would be foolish for many reasons. Apple pays for lawyers so use them. It's not like Jony Ive has to stop engineering so he can work on the Proview case.
  • christophbchristophb Posts: 1,366member
    Why isn't Coca-Cola pissed about the use of the name "Tab"?
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post


    Why isn't Coca-Cola pissed about the use of the name "Tab"?



    Because it is a dictionary word and is being used in a different industry. If Tab had a strong secondary meaning, Coke could protect it more. As it is, they have limited rights.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,544member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    The company wants billions and an apology. Giving them that to end this would be foolish for many reasons. Agreeing to a lowered extortion rate now would be foolish for many reasons. Apple pays for lawyers so use them. It's not like Jony Ive has to stop engineering so he can work on the Proview case.



    Another report out this morning said Proview wanted $38 million and an apology.



    http://www.cultofmac.com/144796/appl...name-in-china/
  • christophbchristophb Posts: 1,366member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Another report out this morning said Proview wanted $38 million and an apology.



    http://www.cultofmac.com/144796/appl...name-in-china/



    The apology part cracks me up.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Let's see. About 45 units were removed from the shelves.



    That will allow Samsung and Lenovo to double their sales.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Let's see. About 45 units were removed from the shelves.



    That will allow Samsung and Lenovo to double their sales.



  • rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    Did apple bribe the judge in Hong Kong?



    Hmm? I just thought Hong Kong was still a bit more civilized. But how should I know since they belong to china for 1 1/2 decade.
  • gtrgtr Posts: 3,165member
    Which begs the theoretical question, if you were unable to purchase an iPad legally in China, would you be silly enough to throw away good money on one of it's badly copied competitors?



    Personally, I'd go looking for the nearest black market scalper...
  • monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,051member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post


    Apple must make sure that Proview does not get squat for their double dipping efforts. If only to let other companies know that this double dipping crap does not work with Apple.





    Damn right. Else a bad precedent it sets.
  • cferrycferry Posts: 22member
    Aside from all the other BS in this case, here are two trademark-relevent questions for the Chinese courts:



    1. Is an acronymic IPAD the same thing as an Apple iPad, which is part of a world-renowned family of iConic (couldn't resist) devices including the iPhone and iPod.

    2. Is a non-expert consumer likely to be confused by the two names? In other words might a consumer accidentally purchase an iPad when he or she really wanted a cheap, fugly, outdated, CRT-based iMac ripoff that doesn't appear to be made any more?



    Just asking...
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