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

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
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 ]
post #2 of 53
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.
post #3 of 53
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.

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post #4 of 53
Apple has $100 gazillion. What'$35m? Besides apple loves patent/trademark lawsuits._
post #5 of 53
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.
post #6 of 53
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.
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post #7 of 53
slow news day i guess
post #8 of 53
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.
post #9 of 53
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?
post #10 of 53
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.
post #11 of 53
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.

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post #12 of 53
Why isn't Coca-Cola pissed about the use of the name "Tab"?
post #13 of 53
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.
post #14 of 53
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/
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post #15 of 53
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.
post #16 of 53
Let's see. About 45 units were removed from the shelves.

That will allow Samsung and Lenovo to double their sales.
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post #17 of 53
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.

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

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post #18 of 53
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.
post #19 of 53
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...
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post #20 of 53
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.
post #21 of 53
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...
post #22 of 53
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.

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post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by cferry View Post

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...

Well IPAD was trademarked in the computer/electronics industry. So it doesn't matter if one's an acronym and one's not. Just like you can't call a new gadget an Ibm. IBM is trademarked by IBM.
post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Well IPAD was trademarked in the computer/electronics industry. So it doesn't matter if one's an acronym and one's not. Just like you can't call a new gadget an Ibm. IBM is trademarked by IBM.

Yes, but under U.S. trademark law, I believe you have to have something in the market to maintain your mark, and consumer confusion usually figures into the occasion.

I'm guessing Chinese law is different.
post #25 of 53
This is a non-story.
Proview doesn't have a leg to stand on. Notice it's only lower courts that side with Proview. China isn't a really a "Rule of Law" society. but it is much more so WRT major businesses. As the case is appealed to less easily influenced venues, the validity of Apple's ownership of the trademark will be confirmed. Proview is just very desperate for $$$ and feels like legal blackmail might be a fertile tactic.
post #26 of 53
A lower 'court' in China has as much judicial value as a flock of pigeons fighting over a Cheeto.

Just throw them more Cheetos.
post #27 of 53
Apple needs to play dirty and do whatever it takes to make those corrupt criminals go away.

This is a multi billion dollar business, a lot is at stake. People have been killed for a lot less money.

I suggest bribing the corrupt Chinese judges, and as a last alternative, Apple hitmen and secret ninjas to rectify the problem.
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

as a last alternative, Apple hitmen and secret ninjas to rectify the problem.

So would you really take the time to lie, cheat and steal before deploying the Ninjas? Seems inefficient.
post #29 of 53
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.

Maybe Tripple their sales
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

So would you really take the time to lie, cheat and steal before deploying the Ninjas? Seems inefficient.

I don't see bribing a corrupt judge or two as doing something wrong or unethical. China is an extremely corrupt country, so you have to lower yourself to their level when playing with them. That's the pragmatic and rational view to adopt.
post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

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.

I don't know where you get the idea that China is broke. They are the one's with most of the money, they have a massive balance of payments surplus and have bought up loads of assets in the West. We are in hock to them - it's an inconvenient and uncomfortable fact. Also believe it or not there are people in countries other than Switzerland who are not susceptible to bribes.
post #32 of 53
Take a look at the evidence linked below. It clearly shows that Proview and the Banks that seized Proview's assets are crooked to the core and desperate.

http://allthingsd.com/20120216/take-...-ipad-dispute/

How can a court look at this evidence and side with Proview?
Apple has every right to go Thermo Nuclear on Proview.
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

What misfortune? Apple could easily just make a change to the name for China only.

I hereby propose the name "ChiPad".

There. It's part of the public domain, and nobody else can copyright it.

post #34 of 53
Although most of us on this blog are English speakers the Chinese only speak it as a second language. There has to be a Chinese equivalent in their characters that wouldn't violate the trademark dispute and would probably endear Apple even more to Chinese consumers. After all the word iPad means nothing to the Chinese I just hate the way that these issues bring out the latent xenophobia!

What about i道 iTao!!?
The 'Tao' 道 would really mean something in Chinese - 道 Tao (pronounced Dao) is a Chinese word meaning 'way', 'path', 'route'. of course you'd have to be careful it didn't offend sensibilities because of it's religious connotations..... could be as bad as them serving 'slow-boiled cat' to an American cat lover!
post #35 of 53
This is rediculous. This is one ruling in one city for one retailer. The retailer will appeal, as will Apple not to mention Apple's countersuit(s). True this ruling could be used as precedent in other cities but the appeal should take care of that. This is getting way more press than it should.
post #36 of 53
Proview are just pissed off that they didn't know it was apple that wanted to buy the iPad name. Apple used a 3rd party from the UK to broker the deal and proview sold to them for £35,000. When they found out it was actually Apple they must have been solo pissed off for selling it for a pittance that they would have another crack at Apple to get millions for it.

However it appears that Proview China did agree to sell the iPad name and Apples lawyers have copies of communications to back this up.

Either way it makes Proview look utterly foolish and bitter.
post #37 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Proview are just pissed off that they didn't know it was apple that wanted to buy the iPad name. Apple used a 3rd party from the UK to broker the deal and proview sold to them for £35,000. When they found out it was actually Apple they must have been solo pissed off for selling it for a pittance that they would have another crack at Apple to get millions for it.

However it appears that Proview China did agree to sell the iPad name and Apples lawyers have copies of communications to back this up.

Either way it makes Proview look utterly foolish and bitter.

Exactly. Look at their complaint. They argue that "the company surreptitiously acquired the trademark". So what? It happens all the time. There's nothing illegal or unethical about it.

Seller's remorse is all it is. And they're going to get slapped down hard.
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post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

The apology part cracks me up.

Yeah, we sold you our trademark, but now we're broke, so we'll sue you saying we did not authorize our subsidiary to sell you the trademark. And even though we might have misled you into thinking you own the trademark, you must apologize and pay.
post #39 of 53
Confucius says:

"If you aim at someone and want to pull trigger then make sure you have nobody behind your back to give you kick in your butt"
post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by maciekskontakt View Post

Confucius says:

"If you aim at someone and want to pull trigger then make sure you have nobody behind your back to give you kick in your butt"

Here I thought Confucius said something about a man, an itchy rectum, going to sleep, and a stinky finger.
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