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Chinese lawsuit seeks $38M, apology from Apple for use of iPad name

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
A representative from a Chinese company suing Apple in a dispute over the iPad trademark has said it is "demanding an apology" and anticipates Apple will be fined $38 million by a Beijing court over the issue.

In 2006, Apple purchased the iPad trademark from display manufacturer Proview Electronics (Taiwan) for $55,000 by way of a front company called IP Application Development. However, the company claims that the deal did not include the rights to the trademark in China, as those were owned by Proview Technology (Shenzhen), a subsidiary of Proview International in Hong Kong.

After threatening legal action, the company sued Apple in China last year on allegations of trademark infringement. Proview is seeking a total of 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in damages.

Apple countersued, arguing that it was the rightful owner of the trademark, but a Chinese court ruled last December in favor of Proview. The iPad maker has since appealed the decision.

According to the Global Times, Proview Shenzhen's lawyer Xie Xianghui said a court in the Xicheng district of Beijing was ready to "slap Apple with a 240 million yuan ($38 million) fine," but the ruling has been delayed due to Apple's appeal.

The Xicheng district administration denied Xie's claims of an impending 240 million yuan ruling. "It is still under investigation, so no official comments on the case can be made yet," a media officer at the publicity office of the administration told the publication.

Proview isn't just looking for money, though. Xie told the China Daily that the company wants Apple to say sorry. "We ask the court to stop selling and marketing for Apple’s iPad in China. We also demand an apology,” Xie said.

The lawyer also revealed that the company has filed separate lawsuits against Apple's authorized retailers and stores in local courts. One such suit will be heard in a court in the Pudong district of Shanghai later this month.

Xiao Caiyuan, another lawyer representing Proview, believes Apple will likely lose its appeal again. "We have prepared well for a long-term legal battle," Xiao said. However, some reports have suggested that Proview is strapped for cash and is looking to pay off some of its debts with money from the lawsuits.

Apple doesn't specifically break out iPad sales figures in China, but the company sold 15.43 million units worldwide last quarter.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 49
Dear China,

You've stolen billions of dollars of intellectual property over several decades from us. Go F yourself.

Sincerely,
America
post #3 of 49
They trademarked the English word "iPad" in China? Ermm... ok.
post #4 of 49
Maybe Apple will add and please accept or apology with whipped cream and a cherry on top. Give me a break. They will keep this going for years until that company shrivels up like a prune. As to the 38 million in fines, did they see the q4 numbers? 38 million? Hell they probably spend more on bathroom supplies. When they unveiled the product two years ago I bet that company laughed like everyone else, saying"ha ha ha, there going to try and use that stupid name ha ha ha" . Those laughs have turned to bitter little tears.
post #5 of 49
Until the good for nothing company who only got to the name first dies out of bankruptcy.
post #6 of 49
well said!
post #7 of 49
If they have enough reasons, then Apple will have to shut up and then pay the money for violating IP rights. Apple has already stolen the iPad form factor from another Chinese company. Maybe Apple products will be banned in China, after they were pulled from Australia and Germany.
post #8 of 49
Many layers of hilarious absurdity... but just to grab a few:

*An apology for buying the trademark from the parent company "Proview Electronics" and not ALSO buying it from the subsidiary "Proview Technology? If theres truly some legal reason to buy the name twice from the same company, how did the parent company not make that clear at the start, and why is this labyrinthine technicality a matter for an "apology"?

Did Proview trademark iPad after (and because of) Apples many i-names, notable iMac and iPod? (Did they trademark it just to troll Apple? Many people thought iPad a likely Apple tablet name long, long before Apple revealed the name.)

Who really wins if Apple takes all iPad operations out of China?

*$38 million. Didnt Apple just post the second-best quarter of any company in this history of Earth? (Beaten just once by Exxon when oil peaked, IIRC.)
post #9 of 49

Everyone knows this company is after a quick buck. That's no secret. Still, I don't know whether to:

A) Applaud this company for pulling a quick one

or

B) Slam Apple for sleeping at the wheel
There are some smart cookies working at Apple. How they didn't see this one coming is beyond me.

\

Yep, I'm leaning toward B.
post #10 of 49
Google are probably looking into buying this company now.
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #11 of 49
...any more than it owes an apology to everyone else for coming up with such a name.
post #12 of 49
The Chinese don't give a crap about intellectual property unless it is claimed to be owned by a Chinese company. There are hundreds of thousands of IP violations by Chinese companies, yet the Chinese authorities will always come down in favour of the Chinese.

The situation is made worse when the Chinese slap arbitrary tariffs on non-Chinese goods to distort the playing field even further.

There is a simple solution. Stop making products there. Tell the Chinese to go screw themselves.
post #13 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperorsNewClothes View Post

The Chinese don't give a crap about intellectual property unless it is claimed to be owned by a Chinese company. There are hundreds of thousands of IP violations by Chinese companies, yet the Chinese authorities will always come down in favour of the Chinese.

The situation is made worse when the Chinese slap arbitrary tariffs on non-Chinese goods to distort the playing field even further.

There is a simple solution. Stop making products there. Tell the Chinese to go screw themselves.

Absolutely... quickly transfer all manufacture to the new and future factories in Brazil and then the products can be tagged "Made in The Americas" which will go down a lot better with most people.
post #14 of 49
Surely the lawyers in China must know IP Application Development (IP.A.D.) ain't the same as iPad!!
post #15 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankie View Post

Dear China,

You've stolen billions of dollars of intellectual property over several decades from us. Go F yourself.

Sincerely,
America

your speaking for America now? Maybe we should just bring those jobs back to the US....

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Tallest Skil:


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post #16 of 49
Apple's shaking in their boots. If these guys have a legit case, which is a possibility, you never know, Apple should just pay them and move on.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #17 of 49
Sounds like a good old fashion shakedown to me. Maybe the Chinese officials are watching too many american mafia movies.
post #18 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by bahiatronic View Post

Surely the lawyers in China must know IP Application Development (IP.A.D.) ain't the same as iPad!!

It's not that simple.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #19 of 49
And yet the Chinese authorities refuse to shut down the fake Apple stores in China where they've copied everything down to the t-shirts the employees wear?
post #20 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

your speaking for America now? Maybe we should just bring those jobs back to the US....

"Those jobs aren't coming back." - Steve Jobs

That's not to say there's no way out of the recession, it just means the way out is forwards not backwards.
post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

And yet the Chinese authorities refuse to shut down the fake Apple stores in China where they've copied everything down to the t-shirts the employees wear?

I don't think they refused.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #22 of 49
I call this BS...the name "iPad" itself isn't worth more than what Apple paid already. The name doesn't sell itself...great products do. I thought our laws are silly here, I guess it's the same BS everywhere....and they want 1.6 billion in damages??? What could they have made with that name with their own product in 2 years??? Just absurd for this stuff to even get to court....people need to apply common sense to this stuff. Can Apple sue them for a lose if iPad suck??? WE can sue people for their success but not the other way around??? OMFG, CRAZY WORLD!
post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankie View Post

Dear China,

You've stolen billions of dollars of intellectual property over several decades from us. Go F yourself.

Sincerely,
America

indeed
post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotoformat View Post

Absolutely... quickly transfer all manufacture to the new and future factories in Brazil and then the products can be tagged "Made in The Americas" which will go down a lot better with most people.

Made in America without the S would be enough.
post #25 of 49
Blackmail, pure and simple.
post #26 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techboy View Post

I call this BS...the name "iPad" itself isn't worth more than what Apple paid already. The name doesn't sell itself...great products do. I thought our laws are silly here, I guess it's the same BS everywhere....and they want 1.6 billion in damages??? What could they have made with that name with their own product in 2 years??? Just absurd for this stuff to even get to court....people need to apply common sense to this stuff. Can Apple sue them for a lose if iPad suck??? WE can sue people for their success but not the other way around??? OMFG, CRAZY WORLD!

Well, Apple might then just change the name and get away with it.
Oh, would it be that costly???
post #27 of 49
Apple needs to move out of China. Those MF have no morals. Of course the Chinese courts will side with a Chinese company. They want that money to stay in China.*
Or do a Samsung and change the name to ChinaPad.
post #28 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter236 View Post

If they have enough reasons,
.

Frankly this thing reeks of the owners playing a game because they know the court is more likely to side with them. It's like filing in the East District of Texas which always seems to side with the group that filed the suit even if they are actually in the wrong (as later proven by a string of appeals).

Proview sold the Global Rights to this IP Development (or whatever it was called). Which was later proven to be either a front for Apple or always intending to sell to Apple. then once they knew they had 'been had' they suddenly jump up and say that no they sold the global rights to the areas that the company had the rights to which doesn't include China cause that area is owned by a branch company. And that company is refusing to play ball with Apple.

Basically they implied something that wasn't true once they found out that they might have been able to make more money. they didn't act in good faith etc. But the Chinese court isn't likely to see it that way.

Frankly I think that Apple should just not sell the iPad in China. Under any name. They should also prohibit shipments by any authorized resellers to China and allow the government to ban persons from bringing in iPads. That solves that issue right there. Then when Proview decides that they didn't really play nice and is willing to settle the whole thing, China can get back the iPad. And if someone tries to sell a clear knockoff using that iPad name, Apple should sue with strong implications that they will do whatever it takes to get all of their production out of China even if they have to take a loss of basically all profit for the next ten years to do it. AND they are going to call for all other US tech companies to join them in getting out of China (for a multitude of reasons). Then I bet the government won't be so quick to vote for the home team.

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(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #29 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Apple's shaking in their boots. If these guys have a legit case, which is a possibility, you never know, Apple should just pay them and move on.

If it's the lower fine which is basically a wrist slap, sure I could see them paying. But some big multi billion dollar fine, which has with it the implication that Apple admits they were wrong. No way.

I could see Apple willing to pay for the rights from this branch company, but not some wild and crazy amount based on today's value for the name. Because they acted in good faith and weren't told about this ownership issue until it was found out that Apple was involved and the name was (in the eyes of Proview) under valued.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #30 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Frankly this thing reeks of the owners playing a game because they know the court is more likely to side with them. It's like filing in the East District of Texas which always seems to side with the group that filed the suit even if they are actually in the wrong (as later proven by a string of appeals).

Proview sold the Global Rights to this IP Development (or whatever it was called). Which was later proven to be either a front for Apple or always intending to sell to Apple. then once they knew they had 'been had' they suddenly jump up and say that no they sold the global rights to the areas that the company had the rights to which doesn't include China cause that area is owned by a branch company. And that company is refusing to play ball with Apple.

Basically they implied something that wasn't true once they found out that they might have been able to make more money. they didn't act in good faith etc. But the Chinese court isn't likely to see it that way.

Frankly I think that Apple should just not sell the iPad in China. Under any name. They should also prohibit shipments by any authorized resellers to China and allow the government to ban persons from bringing in iPads. That solves that issue right there. Then when Proview decides that they didn't really play nice and is willing to settle the whole thing, China can get back the iPad. And if someone tries to sell a clear knockoff using that iPad name, Apple should sue with strong implications that they will do whatever it takes to get all of their production out of China even if they have to take a loss of basically all profit for the next ten years to do it. AND they are going to call for all other US tech companies to join them in getting out of China (for a multitude of reasons). Then I bet the government won't be so quick to vote for the home team.

Let's make it simpler. I say Apple literally ignores the lawsuit. Pretend it doesn't exist. Or, as another poster said, just keep it going until the other company shrivels.
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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post #31 of 49
In the words of Joey Adonis (from the motion picture "Bugsy") ...."you can suck it out of the end of my d*ick".
post #32 of 49
:d:d:d
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankie View Post

dear china,

you've stolen billions of dollars of intellectual property over several decades from us. Go f yourself.

Sincerely,
america
post #33 of 49
This person won't win. Yet they are just now coming forward with this after all this time?

Maybe China should focus on their human rights record and how they've unfairly devalued their currency
post #34 of 49
Where's the Like button?

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankie View Post

Dear China,

You've stolen billions of dollars of intellectual property over several decades from us. Go F yourself.

Sincerely,
America
post #35 of 49
No matter what, Apple will lose this case in China, and I can bet the Chinese judge is going to get a hefty sum of that $38M... whoops, did I just say something wrong...
post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

They trademarked the English word "iPad" in China? Ermm... ok.

That was my first reaction. I guess "iPad" means something else in Chinese...oh wait it doesn't mean ANYTHING in Chinese.

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post #37 of 49
"ok Mr. China corrupt court. We will pay your fine of 38M but let it be know we will be moving all our manufacturing operations over to Brazil in the next few years because we don't like doing business in a country overrun by courruption . However, We may consider staying if you give us a tax break of 10 Billion dollars."
"Building for the future?! They should be running around reacting to the present!" -John Moltz
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post #38 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

*An “apology” for buying the trademark from the parent company "Proview Electronics" and not ALSO buying it from the subsidiary "Proview Technology”? If there’s truly some legal reason to buy the name twice from the same company, how did the parent company not make that clear at the start, and why is this labyrinthine technicality a matter for an "apology"?

Good post. It really clarifies the absurdity of Proview's position.

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post #39 of 49
the quote "Made in the Americas" priceless, because many people would not notice the "s" on the end , assume it is USA, north america, Not Sourh America.
not sure if that would be technically accurate, due the fact products don't say "Made in Asia"...
funny, but "Made in Americas" could be deemed deceptive.
post #40 of 49
All of you folks spouting righteous indignation over this should give your heads a shake. You may all be right, fair and just, and it will still matter not a whit.

The question is: does Apple want to do business in China? If so, and I think it's obvious they do, then they just have to suck up these inequities and move on.
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