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Apple asks Amazon China to pull iPads from sale in midst of trademark dispute

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
At the request of Apple, iPads have been removed from sale at retailer Amazon's Chinese website, as Apple finds itself involved in a trademark dispute with a Chinese company over the "iPad" name.

The iPad was removed from sale on Amazon China this week at the request of Apple, a spokesman for the website told MIC Gadget. Apple has not officially commented on the matter, but a search for the iPad on the website only returns iPad accessories, or competing tablets made by other companies.

In addition to Amazon China, the iPad has also been removed from another online retailer, Sunning. The iPad remains available for sale at Tmall.com, 360buy and Dangdang, as well as Apple's own online store in China, and its retail outlets.

The removal of the iPad from two online retailers was presumed by the site to be related to an ongoing trademark dispute Apple is engaged in with Proview Technology, though neither party indicated that was the case. Proview is seeking 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in damages from Apple, as well as a formal apology for use of the iPad name.

And on Tuesday, Proview asked the Chinese government to block exportation of the iPad, which would effectively bring global sales to a halt. Currently, Apple has the iPad assembled in China at factories owned and operated by Foxconn.

Chinese authorities began seizing iPad units in the city of Shijazhuang in the northern province this week, though only 45 units were taken from resellers over two days. But that expanded to a second city, as retailers in Xuzhou in coastal Jiangsu Province found their inventory placed under "temporary impoundment" as a result of the lawsuit.




The seizures and the filing to block exportation were characterized this week by The New York Times as "warnings by Proview of the havoc it could wreak unless Apple agrees to pay a large fee to settle the trademark fight." Apple has argued that it bought the rights to Proview's iPad trademark in China along with nine other countries, and that the company "refuses to honor" their existing agreement with Apple.

Despite Proview's initial success in blocking iPad sales in some areas of China, customs officials in the nation indicated to Proview this week that banning the iPad from export would be "difficult to implement" because of the popularity of the device in the region.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 13
This article is simply WRONG... Please someone check facts before publishing this stuff.. Come on AI.

"An Apple spokeswoman said Amazon is not an authorized reseller of iPads in China or the United States"

That is why apple is pulling them, not because of Proview...

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Apple-...55413.html?x=0
post #3 of 13
I bet that even Chinese people in China believe that Proview is a bunch of thugs.

The Chinese retailers don't like it, because they obviously want to sell their iPads and make money. They don't want their stock confiscated in some mafia like shakedown.

The Chinese consumers don't like it because they want their iPads just like everybody else. Some Chinese people will even sell a kidney to pay for an iPad!

Maybe Apple should out-corrupt the corrupt Chinese company and bribe the judges! It would cost Apple very little. I would support that. Sometimes you have to play dirty when the people you are dealing with are already knee deep in mud.
post #4 of 13
All this sounds kind of iffy.
What does this mean ". . . customs officials in the nation indicated to Proview this week that banning the iPad from export would be "difficult to implement" because of the popularity of the device in the region."

Isn't it up to courts to lay the legal grounds for banning exports? And what does popularity have to do with it?

And why has Apple pulled its products from third party re-sellers? Is this some compliance Apple is following, possibly assisting Proview in hanging itself? Apple hasn't pulled its products from its own stores, at least not yet.

It seems a ripe old soap opera.

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When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

I am not crazy! Three out of five court appointed psychiatrists said so.

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post #5 of 13
it's time for this apple wannabee to understand that there are 2 way streets.

they will find out that what google did to remove itself from china is a drop in
the bucket. their get rich project will make its first stop at palookaville.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

At the request of Apple, iPads have been removed from sale at retailer Amazon's Chinese website, as Apple finds itself involved in a trademark dispute with a Chinese company over the "iPad" name.

Apple needs to get out in front of this issue. That may be impossible, but if so, Apple might lose several billion. That would be awful on the one hand, but on the other, it would barely make a dent.

This Apple legal stuff is always brinksmanship it seems, with one unthinkable possibility coming on the heels of another. It seems like all these companies are all in imminent peril, all the time getting deeper and deeper, like in some cheezy old movie. But then they snatch victory from the teeth of defeat, like apple getting the German sales ban lifted or Samsung introducing the "N" version of their pad.

It is all VERY entertaining. I think this situation will result in a confidential settlement, but a public contest would be much more of a spectacle.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhikl View Post

All this sounds kind of iffy.
What does this mean ". . . customs officials in the nation indicated to Proview this week that banning the iPad from export would be "difficult to implement" because of the popularity of the device in the region."

Isn't it up to courts to lay the legal grounds for banning exports? And what does popularity have to do with it?

The courts have already laid the legal grounds for banning exports. The customs officials, it has been suggested, are saying that this is all way too big a problem for them to have to deal with.

While it is anybody's guess, mine is that the customs officials are seeing an opportunity to get their long-overdue "budget increase". That sort of thing is not uncommon even in the west, and it is reputed to be rampant in China.


Quote:
It seems a ripe old soap opera.

It will make for many, many good books and movies before it is all over, I would think.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ko024 View Post

This article is simply WRONG... Please someone check facts before publishing this stuff.. Come on AI.

"An Apple spokeswoman said Amazon is not an authorized reseller of iPads in China or the United States"

That is why apple is pulling them, not because of Proview...

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Apple-...55413.html?x=0

If Amazon is not an "authorized reseller", then Apple has no power to "Pull them" from Amazon's shelves (Amazon "owns" the units) Apple could choose to not honor warranty if they chose, but that's it.
You can buy Apple products (or any products) from plenty of place that are not "authorized resellers".
post #9 of 13
If Proview is about to be delisted from the HK stock exchange, I imagine it would be cheap enough to simply buy the company and shut it down rather than pay for an extortion that still doesn't give them the rights to the mark.
Let's see 0.202 x 772m shares = 155946020HKD, at current exchange rate of 0.128974 = 20,112,981.98
So 21 million dollars to buy the company.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhikl View Post

All this sounds kind of iffy.
What does this mean ". . . customs officials in the nation indicated to Proview this week that banning the iPad from export would be "difficult to implement" because of the popularity of the device in the region."

Isn't it up to courts to lay the legal grounds for banning exports? And what does popularity have to do with it?

I'm not sure the courts in China are the same independent entities from the other branches of government as they are in the US and other countries. If it threatened the economy (a lot of money comes into China for the production of all those popular iPads), I'm sure the government would make sure the court made the "right" decision. It's all for the good of the State.
post #11 of 13
I don't understand why Apple doesn't just pay the money to use the name.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

I don't understand why Apple doesn't just pay the money to use the name.

Their argument is that they already did. Are you okay with paying for your gas when you arrive at the station and again as you're about to pull away?

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #13 of 13
From MacRumors:
Quote:
While Chinese courts have so far ruled against Apple in the trademark dispute with Proview Technology, Apple has noted that it did win a court case on the issue in Hong Kong last year. The Wall Street Journal's report offers some additional details on that decision, which held that Proview and its subsidiaries had conspired against Apple in a scheme to extract more money from Apple.

The court said, in its findings, that Proview, its subsidiaries and at least one other company had combined together "with the common intention of injuring Apple," by breaching the agreement over the iPad name. The court, calling the event a conspiracy, further said Proview had "attempted to exploit the situation as a business opportunity," by asking for money.

"It is accordingly important that (Apple) is able to secure and obtain the China trademarks," the court wrote in its decision.

Proview reportedly failed to transfer the iPad trademark assignment in China to Apple as required by a 2009 agreement, instead demanding that Apple pay $10 million for the rights. Proview is now seeking as much as $1.6 billion in damages in Chinese courts.

Seems hard to believe that Apple will lose this. At the most Apple could simply pay the Chinese government to do the right thing. It's not like Proview has the cash and I'm sure Apple is more willing to spend the money to crush Proview than to pay them off.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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

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