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Apple threatens Proview with defamation countersuit

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
Following a Monday announcement that Proview had won a small legal victory against Apple on Friday, the iPad maker is threatening to sue the bankrupt Chinese company over purportedly false and misleading statements released to the press.

In a letter to Proview founder Yang Rongshan obtained by All Things D on Monday, Apple alleges that the company has been misrepresenting certain facts to press outlets in order to inflame the already complicated "iPad" trademark dispute and is warning legal action over damages resulting from the defamatory statements.

The lengthy document, written in both Mandarin and English, gives the broad strokes of the case thus far, with Apple alleging that Proview not only refuses to honor its trademark agreement, but breaches the "principles of good faith and dealing" by making false or misleading public statements.

Bullet points from the letter regarding false statements:
Quote:
that Apple's affiliate "mistakenly" transacted with Proview Electronics Co., Ltd. ("Proview Taiwan", Proview's another subsidiary) who did not own the trademarks for IPAD in mainland China;
that "Proview Shenzhen had no knowledge of the trademark transfer";
that Apple's affiliates dealt only with representatieves of Proview Taiwan who "had nothing to do with Proview Shenzhen"; and
that the IPAD trademarks in mainland China "were not included in the package of trademarks under consideration" in the sale.

Apple maintains its stance of having legally purchased the rights to the "iPad" name under the direction of Yang in 2009 from Proview Taiwan, an affiliate of Shenzhen-based Proview Technology which itself is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based umbrella company Proview International Holdings.

Recently, Proview has been claiming ownership rights of the "iPad" moniker in China, and Apple notes that because no final court judgment has named a true owner, any presumptive statements "have the effect of wrongly causing damage to Apple's reputation."

The letter goes on to note the specifics of the agreement and subsequent transaction from Proview Shenzhen, including email correspondence and legal documentation.

The full letter from All Things D:


Apple_proview


var docstoc_docid="113878230";var docstoc_title="Apple_proview";var docstoc_urltitle="Apple_proview";


Earlier on Monday, Proview's lawyer Xie Xianghui announced that the company had won a Lower People's Court decision in Huizhou banning the sale of Apple's tablet, though it turns out that the scope of the ruling is quite narrow as it only applies to one store in the region.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 65
Isn't Proview nearing bankruptcy? Does China have similar bankruptcy protection laws?

This smacks of a company with nothing to lose making a desperate ploy.

Or the banks on the hook for Proview's loans are pulling the strings.
post #3 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Isn't Proview nearing bankruptcy? Does China have similar bankruptcy protection laws?

This smacks of a company with nothing to lose making a desperate ploy.

Or the banks on the hook for Proview's loans are pulling the strings.

What ever ist is, these guys should get some time to think in a local prison. Maybe with these corrupt judges as room mates.
post #4 of 65
Don't threaten!! Sue right away!!
post #5 of 65
Hmm ... Proview sounds like the kid poking the Apple Lion (pun intended) with a stick through the bars of the lion's cage. The lion sounds pissed. If a higher court unlocks the cage door, the result ain't gonna be pretty.

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post #6 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

What ever ist is, these guys should get some time to think in a local prison. Maybe with these corrupt judges as room mates.

I agree, I'm merely pointing out that they may be protected from civil proceedings, like damages. Criminal charges for fraud? Not so much. Assuming a proper legal system.
post #7 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sipadan View Post

Don't threaten!! Sue right away!!

Hmm... It's a tossup. I think they need to enjoin the services (aka "grease the wheels") of some highly placed Party members who like Apple.

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post #8 of 65
I'd love to watch Proview squirm with the news they may be facing a lawsuit. Can't wait for this to be all settled with Proview defunct and iPads selling everywhere in China like gangbusters!!
post #9 of 65
Proview is toast and has no chance in hell of gaining legal ownership of the iPad trademark.

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post #10 of 65
be ware of the difference in legal systems between the two countries. A sure case in US or any western country may not be so sure in China. Particularly, when two different part of China (Taiwan and mainland) involved. it is very muddy situation (the winning of lower court case by the other party already sound the warning sign).
Good luck iPad.
post #11 of 65
This potential lawsuit should shut the trash talking from ProView, down for a while.
post #12 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1st View Post

be ware of the difference in legal systems between the two countries. A sure case in US or any western country may not be so sure in China. Particularly, when two different part of China (Taiwan and mainland) involved. it is very muddy situation (the winning of lower court case by the other party already sound the warning sign).
Good luck iPad.

So true. So many things to weigh. Mainland vs. Taiwan, Foreign Employer vs. National Business.

A lot of pride on the line in a one sided country.
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post #13 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

So true. So many things to weigh. Mainland vs. Taiwan, Foreign Employer vs. National Business.

A lot of pride on the line in a one sided country.

Time for that "one sided country" to decide if it believes in rule of law.
post #14 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1st View Post

be ware of the difference in legal systems between the two countries. A sure case in US or any western country may not be so sure in China. Particularly, when two different part of China (Taiwan and mainland) involved. it is very muddy situation (the winning of lower court case by the other party already sound the warning sign).
Good luck iPad.

...and Hong Kong is part of which country?
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post #15 of 65
There aren't too many trolls on this thread. I guess even they sense Apple is in the right here.

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post #16 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

Time for that "one sided country" to decide if it believes in rule of law.

Well, I doubt if we even know 100%, or anything close to it, if Proview is in the right or in the wrong in this case.
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post #17 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1st View Post

be ware of the difference in legal systems between the two countries. A sure case in US or any western country may not be so sure in China. Particularly, when two different part of China (Taiwan and mainland) involved. it is very muddy situation (the winning of lower court case by the other party already sound the warning sign).
Good luck iPad.

There may be some repercussions if American and European businesses see Apple get screwed in the courts because of "homerism". It may not bode well for China's future as a business hub, although with 1.5 billion people they may be able to get by.
post #18 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

There aren't too many trolls on this thread. I guess even they sense Apple is in the right here.

All things in time, my friend. All things in time.
post #19 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Well, I doubt if we even know 100%, or anything close to it, if Proview is in the right or in the wrong in this case.

Now that's one of the best perspectives ever posted here.
post #20 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

There aren't too many trolls on this thread. I guess even they sense Apple is in the right here.

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post #21 of 65
What I see is Proview owner convinced enough local people in the right places to help him extort money from Apple: 1 billion to pay back the loans and 1 billion for friends.
post #22 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

What ever ist is, these guys should get some time to think in a local prison. Maybe with these corrupt judges as room mates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

...and Hong Kong is part of which country?

Obviously, Hong Kong is part of the People's Republic of China (Communist China) and not the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Interestingly, a Hong Kong court issued an order some time ago which forbade Proview from claiming ownership of the trademarks in question. Seems to me that Proview is in contempt of court - and could suffer pretty severe penalties for that.
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post #23 of 65
Those who can bake pies do and those who love to eat it, should, but what of those who exist only to slice it, an activity that's ultimately antithetical to either creating or celebrating anything at all? This sort of endlessly protracted waste is the inevitable and ubiquitous consequence of accepting wealth as the primary purpose of existence, and nothing we should encourage, much less embrace.

Ultimately, it's the tedium required to live a life based on fear and greed that shocks me. What sort of people can tolerate, much less embrace, this kind of activity? It's sad, disturbing, and ultimately pathetic like reading about someone whose been buried alive under a thousand cats or a million moldering back issues of the New York Times.

However they're resolved, all lawsuits - like the wars they emulate - are first and foremost failures. A lawyer is to a productive human being what an undertaker is to a physician. When the former outnumber the latter, something is terribly, terribly wrong.
post #24 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post

Those who can bake pies do and those who love to eat it, should, but what of those who exist only to slice it, an activity that's ultimately antithetical to either creating or celebrating anything at all? This sort of endlessly protracted waste is the inevitable and ubiquitous consequence of accepting wealth as the primary purpose of existence, and nothing we should encourage, much less embrace.

Ultimately, it's the tedium required to live a life based on fear and greed that shocks me. What sort of people can tolerate, much less embrace, this kind of activity? It's sad, disturbing, and ultimately pathetic like reading about someone whose been buried alive under a thousand cats or a million moldering back issues of the New York Times.

However they're resolved, all lawsuits - like the wars they emulate - are first and foremost failures. A lawyer is to a productive human being what an undertaker is to a physician. When the former outnumber the latter, something is terribly, terribly wrong.

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post #25 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Well, I doubt if we even know 100%, or anything close to it, if Proview is in the right or in the wrong in this case.

I dunno. I haven't seen a single piece of reliable evidence that even hints at Apple being in the wrong or that anything Proview has said is true at all.

Proview has talked a lot of trash but they haven't actually provided any evidence AFAICS. Apple on the other hand has provided a few, simple, and as of yet uncontested documents that indicate that their point of view is the correct one.

Unless you are talking about the Zen kind of thing about how we can "never know anything for certain," the evidence is as clear as it can get IMO.
post #26 of 65
Talk about cut off your nose to spite your face. Someone better start bribing someone over there! Isn't the Apple plant in Brazil ready to go on line yet??

If their courts want to pass ridiculous judgements that hurt the interests of such a huge mega company doing business there, let's build Apple products in Brazil and California!!! I'd pay more to not be beholden to the Chinese.
post #27 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Obviously, Hong Kong is part of the People's Republic of China (Communist China) and not the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Interestingly, a Hong Kong court issued an order some time ago which forbade Proview from claiming ownership of the trademarks in question. Seems to me that Proview is in contempt of court - and could suffer pretty severe penalties for that.

Hong Kong, of course, being one of the special economic/administrative zones, with privileges not available elsewhere in China.

Next time senior Apple guy meets with senior China guy, the former apologizes for his lack of a suitable gift to acknowledge the gracious presence of the latter, because Apple does not wish to cause the latter to break a possible Chinese law.

Cheers
post #28 of 65
Apple, go get 'em! Smash them! Destroy the corrupt and criminal buggers!

I want to see them crushed to smithereens. Show no mercy, and then move in for the kill. Don't threaten to do something, just go ahead and squash those nasty little maggots already.
post #29 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I dunno. I haven't seen a single piece of reliable evidence that even hints at Apple being in the wrong or that anything Proview has said is true at all.

Proview has talked a lot of trash but they haven't actually provided any evidence AFAICS. Apple on the other hand has provided a few, simple, and as of yet uncontested documents that indicate that their point of view is the correct one.

Unless you are talking about the Zen kind of thing about how we can "never know anything for certain," the evidence is as clear as it can get IMO.

You might not have seen it but that isn't to say the evidence isn't there.

Two courts have sided with Proview and a court in Honk Kong has sided with Apple.

Obviously the evidence isn't all that clear.
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post #30 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

You might not have seen it but that isn't to say the evidence isn't there.

Two courts have sided with Proview and a court in Honk Kong has sided with Apple.

Obviously the evidence isn't all that clear.

After seeing those emails and contracts it seems pretty clear to my admittedly untrained eye.

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post #31 of 65
Apple needs to get a hold of Big Brother and let him know there are 400,000 jobs at stake and may have to be moved to Brazil. At least there the judges operate with 'integrity' - meaning that when they accept a bribe, they follow through and deliver.
post #32 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

After seeing those emails and contracts it seems pretty clear to my admittedly untrained eye.

Look at the contract again. Who is the seller?

Did that entity own the rights in China?
post #33 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

After seeing those emails and contracts it seems pretty clear to my admittedly untrained eye.

Sure... seems clear, but then again, I'm not the judge.
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post #34 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Sure... seems clear, but then again, I'm not the judge.

I'll be the judge of that.

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post #35 of 65
Excuse me for pointing out something obvious

But how can a Chinese entity trademark anything in a foreign language?

I mean that would be like a big company in the China trademarking a series of Manderin characters, building said item in USA and exporting all over the world , and a USA company saying no we have the right to that name, HUH????


Also, The word "iPad" doesn't have an Chinese equivalent does it? by definiton it is they who are copying Apple right?

Do Chinese companies sell anything in China and use English words on the front?

if so why?

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post #36 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'll be the judge of that.

I would say that the government wants [a judgement] in favor of Apple but at the same time they have to find a way to save face because there is a Formosa angle to the case.
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post #37 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul94544 View Post

Excuse me for pointing out something obvious

But how can a Chinese entity trademark anything in a foreign language?

I mean that would be like someone here in the USA trademarking a series of Manderin chracters and dsiplaying on a item for sale, stooopid

The word "iPad" doesn't have an Chinese equivalent does it? by definiton it is they who are copying Apple right?

Do Chinese companies sell anything in China and use English words on the front?

if so why?

I don't know what, if anything, they trademarked in Mandarin but they clearly trademarked IPAD in English.

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post #38 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by IYFCalvin View Post

This potential lawsuit should shut the trash talking from ProView, down for a while.

Yes Zither and his ilk have been warned to tread vey carefully or they could face a suit for defamation
post #39 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I don't what, if anything, they trademarked in Mandarin but they clearly trademarked IPAD in English.

Sorry to be picky, but can you trademark anything in Mandarin (as opposed to Chinese)?
post #40 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Sorry to be picky, but can you trademark anything in Mandarin (as opposed to Chinese)?

I don't know what you mean by "opposed to Chinese".

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