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Apple could pay $1.5B to Chinese company in iPad trademark lawsuit

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
A Chinese court rejected Apple's lawsuit accusing Proview Technology of illegally using the iPad name, allowing a counter suit as the Shenzhen company is said to have already registered the trademark in China.

Chinese newspaper The Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Tuesday that because Proview legally trademarked the iPad name for products in a number of countries including China in 2000, Apple's lawsuit was rejected and the tech giant is now open to a previous $1.5B infringement suit, according to Reuters.

Apple introduced its tablet in Jan., 2010, with sales starting in April, just weeks after the company reportedly acquired the trademark for the iPad name from Fujitsu. The Japanese electronics maker owned the iPad moniker from 2003, using it for Windows CE-based handheld devices.

In 2006, Proview Electronics (Taiwan) agreed to sell the iPad trademark to a company called IP Application Development for $55,000, without realizing that the company was connected to Apple. Proview chairman Yang Rongshan claimed the deal did not include the Chinese rights to the trademark, though Apple argued otherwise.

With Apple's suit rejected, Proview can now proceed with its own legal action regarding the trademark, which was first reported in October. The Shenzhen company is asking for 10 billion yuan (approximately $1.5 billion) in compensation from Apple for copyright infringement.

The ruling by Intermediate People's Court of Shenzhen is yet another roadblock in Apple's attempts to gain a foothold in what some consider to be the company's most important emerging market. Recent issues include fake Apple retail stores in western China and supply chain pollution concerns.

The latest news comes just weeks before Apple is said to be releasing the iPhone 4S in the country, which is expected to launch on partner carrier China Unicom within the month. Recently, the iPhone surpassed Nokia as the leading smartphone brand in the country, riding on booming 3G adoption rates and overall brand popularity.

Apple's Chinese iPad 2 webpage | Source: Apple

In October's quarter four investor conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook called China "an area of enormous opportunity," and noted he has never seen a country with as many people rising into the middle class aspiring to buy products his company makes.

The Mac maker is seen as the most desirable PC brand in China, with the iPad leading the region's tablet market with a 65 percent share.
post #2 of 61
$1.5B for a damn product name?
post #3 of 61
When did they start selling the iPad in China?

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #4 of 61
OK, Proview does look to have legit trademarks for iPad in various countries starting in 2000. But that's not enough. I want to know what products they were actively selling under those names over the last decade for each of those countries. These aren't patents you can sit on, if you don't use a trademark you can lose it.

In the end Apple won't be paying them anywhere close to $1.5 billion. There is always the option of changing the name like Apple did with AirPort to AirMac in Japan.

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post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

$1.5B for a damn product name?

That's just sensationalism that the media indulges in to grab eyeballs. Their chances of ultimately collecting that amount lie somewhere between zilch and squat.
post #6 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by tallest skil View Post

when did they start selling the ipad in china?

06-may-2011.

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post #7 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

There is always the option of changing the name like Apple did with AirPort to AirMac in Japan.

I'm just curious. What is the AirPort name used for in Japan, since somebody else must have had the rights for it?
post #8 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

06-may-2011.

1. Then these guys had their chance to file for name rights. They should have done it immediately.

And, obviously, it almost 100% proves their case is just for the money because the guy said, "WE NEED THE MONEY."

2. Why did your quote decapitalize everything?

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #9 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I'm just curious. What is the AirPort name used for in Japan, since somebody else must have had the rights for it?

A wireless router so it's a legit complaint by I-O Data.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

2. Why did your quote decapitalize everything?

vBulletin does that for some inconsistent reason. Maybe because all the letters I wrote were 'MAY" in caps so it have some feature to remove all caps.

Also, when posting a link I like to indent and then use a bullet or arrows » but sometimes vBulletin will add in an asterisk * after it for no reason. I have all these shortcuts setup with Textspander to make formatting here simple, but having to edit for those silly additions is annoying.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #10 of 61
Even though China is a huge market, Apple should just stop selling "i" everything there. It should also stop manufacturing in China also. If the Chinese don't want to play fair then they shouldn't get to play at all.
post #11 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcaro View Post

Even though China is a huge market, Apple should just stop selling "i" everything there. It should also stop manufacturing in China also. If the Chinese don't want to play fair then they shouldn't get to play at all.

That's not how it works.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #12 of 61
"The Shenzhen company is asking for 10 billion yuan (approximately $1.5 billion) in compensation from Apple for copyright infringement" in a trademark lawsuit?

I don't know Chinese copyright or trademark law, but in the US, they're very, very different legal concepts.
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post #13 of 61
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #14 of 61
Yeah, right. Like China has shown so much respect for intellectual property in the past.
post #15 of 61
Quote:
In 2006, Proview Electronics (Taiwan) agreed to sell the iPad trademark to a company called IP Application Development for $55,000, without realizing that the company was connected to Apple. Proview chairman Yang Rongshan claimed the deal did not include the Chinese rights to the trademark, though Apple argued otherwise.

I find this interesting. How come something important like this was overlooked?! I know these types of transactions are tens of pages long but how the hell did they miss something like "including rights in China"?! Maybe it is time Apple look for another IP lawyers in Taiwan and China.
post #16 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

'In 2006, Proview Electronics (Taiwan) agreed to sell the iPad trademark to a company called IP Application Development for $55,000, without realizing that the company was connected to Apple. Proview chairman Yang Rongshan claimed the deal did not include the Chinese rights to the trademark, though Apple argued otherwise'.

I find this interesting. How come something important like this was overlooked?! I know these types of transactions are tens of pages long but how the hell did they miss something like "including rights in China"?! Maybe it is time Apple look for another IP lawyers in Taiwan and China.

Where did you find the quote in your post?

All the best.

EDIT - Okay, got it! \
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post #17 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

Where did you find the quote in your post?

All the best.

There's additional information here:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/4e10735e-e...#axzz1flqYjpi2
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post #18 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

OK, Proview does look to have legit trademarks for iPad in various countries starting in 2000. But that's not enough. I want to know what products they were actively selling under those names over the last decade for each of those countries. These aren't patents you can sit on, if you don't use a trademark you can lose it.

In the U.S., that's true. I don't know if it's true in China. China's laws are, well, different. And, to a large extent, the courts tend to ignore them when they feel like it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

In the end Apple won't be paying them anywhere close to $1.5 billion. There is always the option of changing the name like Apple did with AirPort to AirMac in Japan.

Apple will appeal it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I find this interesting. How come something important like this was overlooked?! I know these types of transactions are tens of pages long but how the hell did they miss something like "including rights in China"?! Maybe it is time Apple look for another IP lawyers in Taiwan and China.

I think there's more involved than that. The original article had this company saying that they sold the 'global' rights to this shell company. Last time I checked, China was still on the globe - although they tend to think otherwise at times. Let's wait to see what happens on appeal.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/4e10735e-e...#axzz1flqYjpi2
Quote:
According to Mr Yang, Proview Electronics (Taiwan) agreed in 2006 to sell the “global trademark” for the IPAD name to a US-registered company called IP Application Development (IPAD) for £35,000 ($55,104). Proview did not at the time suspect the company had any link with Apple.
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post #19 of 61
We are already chinese here in this country. We just don't know it yet. If you disagree then go into any walmart or best buy and look at where the product is made. Uh huh, see we are becoming chinese. Next thing you will see is the chinese wanting to cash in on all the money they have lent us. We will have to pay them in corporations. Here you want to cash in for that 100 billion debt. Well here you go we can pay you off with Gateway computers.
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post #20 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


In the end Apple won't be paying them anywhere close to $1.5 billion. There is always the option of changing the name like Apple did with AirPort to AirMac in Japan.

yep, change the name to something like c-Pad (for China of course) and pay nothing but the outstanding breach.

If Apple paid $100M it would be too much.
post #21 of 61
Next up; iTV to sue Apple.
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post #22 of 61
I can't believe Apple would overlook something like that when buying the iPad trademark from Proview. I'd like to see the agreement.

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post #23 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

OK, Proview does look to have legit trademarks for iPad in various countries starting in 2000. But that's not enough. I want to know what products they were actively selling under those names over the last decade for each of those countries. These aren't patents you can sit on, if you don't use a trademark you can lose it.

In the end Apple won't be paying them anywhere close to $1.5 billion. There is always the option of changing the name like Apple did with AirPort to AirMac in Japan.

If the trial is in China, Apple can loose.
They are very nationalistic in China. Probably the reason why Apple lost the China trademark even if Apple had bought it.

China and other asian tiger countries have totally different culture then US/Europe. They put their countries first. Like when Apple lost court case in South Korea for the cashing of base station in iPhone/Itunes.
post #24 of 61
How can China sue anyone for stealing anything? Stealing other's ideas and copying is practically their calling card!

Seriously add up the amount of pirated and copied shit over there and let's call the whole debt to them even. Done.
post #25 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

We are already chinese here in this country. We just don't know it yet. If you disagree then go into any walmart or best buy and look at where the product is made. Uh huh, see we are becoming chinese.

Buying a Chinese-manufactured iPhone no more makes me Chinese than buying a taco makes me Mexican or buying a tiffin makes me Indian.
post #26 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankie View Post

How can China sue anyone for stealing anything? Stealing other's ideas and copying is practically their calling card!

Seriously add up the amount of pirated and copied shit over there and let's call the whole debt to them even. Done.

Welcome to the world's latest superpower. For better or worse.


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post #27 of 61
The Chinese are crooks. They can't innovate anything themselves so they have to steal everything, including names. Apple should have never gone into China to sell products.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

$1.5B for a damn product name?
post #28 of 61
Come on, bdkennedy1! Why do you have to make such baseless and racist claims?

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcaro View Post

Even though China is a huge market, Apple should just stop selling "i" everything there. It should also stop manufacturing in China also. If the Chinese don't want to play fair then they shouldn't get to play at all.

Yep that will show them! "no soup for you!" Apple will lose billions in future sales....billions more in added production costs for their products but hey..... that will show them!

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post #30 of 61
Apple should just tell Foxconn to pressure them. You either Get 5 Million up unemployment rate, and apple paid Foxconn to move the God Damn Factory to Brazil and other part of China.

Or you Shut them up with a reasonable amount of money.
post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

OK, Proview does look to have legit trademarks for iPad in various countries starting in 2000. But that's not enough. I want to know what products they were actively selling under those names over the last decade for each of those countries. These aren't patents you can sit on, if you don't use a trademark you can lose it.

In the end Apple won't be paying them anywhere close to $1.5 billion. There is always the option of changing the name like Apple did with AirPort to AirMac in Japan.

I believe they did, they saved themselves 1.5 Billion by calling it the riPad......its a play on words which stands for registered iPad.
post #32 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

OK, Proview does look to have legit trademarks for iPad in various countries starting in 2000. But that's not enough. I want to know what products they were actively selling under those names over the last decade for each of those countries. These aren't patents you can sit on, if you don't use a trademark you can lose it.

Under US law that is true. But are we certain that the the applicable laws in China are the same.

That said, Apple may have to take a tact of breach of contract over the language of the agreement.

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post #33 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcaro View Post

Even though China is a huge market, Apple should just stop selling "i" everything there. It should also stop manufacturing in China also. If the Chinese don't want to play fair then they shouldn't get to play at all.

If Apple stops manufacturing in China, at least right now, they will stop existing. There's just not the infrastructure anywhere else.

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post #34 of 61
Chinese law system is very different than western world. A judge is just another government clerk. The ruling is based on 1)relationship, 2) reasoning, 3) law. In other words, obeying law is not necessary. I have seen a defender yelling at the judge for not ruling for her. Image that in US? Ha! Ha! All Apple has to do is called Mr. Locke and make it a political problem. All law suits will go away. Politic is also above the law.
post #35 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeliu58 View Post

Chinese law system is very different than western world. A judge is just another government clerk. The ruling is based on 1)relationship, 2) reasoning, 3) law. In other words, obeying law is not necessary. I have seen a defender yelling at the judge for not ruling for her. Image that in US? Ha! Ha! All Apple has to do is called Mr. Locke and make it a political problem. All law suits will go away. Politic is also above the law.

Do you think defendants yelling at the judges doesn't happen in the US?

There are idiots who after losing make threats, try attacking judge. Search youtube you will see these people. its not exclusive to China.
post #36 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

$1.5B for a damn product name?

When you have $100B warchest, you can actually feasibly do something like this. Not saying they will of course.
post #37 of 61
The US is the new third world in business. The Chinese/Asians can do pretty much whatever they want. Copy with abandon.
post #38 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

$1.5B for a damn product name?

Apple Computer had to pay $500 millions for Apple record to settle.
post #39 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

$1.5B for a damn product name?

Well, it's not like Proview was ever going to make that much revenue off the name before Apple chose to use it. It's like, if you had some empty, marshy swamp land in Florida full of gators and mosquitoes, it might not be worth that much, but if, say, Disney came knocking and wanted to build a theme park there, the price of the land would suddenly skyrocket. That's pretty much what this $1.5B is about.

Apple has had to fight someone to use every major trademarked they've launched. Macintosh, iPhone, iPad, even the name Apple was under contention at some point. Proview just wants more money, and Apple will probably have to give it to them if they want iPad to be a single global brand.

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post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

The US is the new third world in business. The Chinese/Asians can do pretty much whatever they want. Copy with abandon.

That they do. But I fear even more the day when they don't have to, because it means they have become first in design and engineering, and Silicon Valley has become the next Detroit.

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