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Apple tells court banning iPad sales would 'hurt China's national interest'

post #1 of 67
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Apple and Proview, the company challenging over the use of the "iPad" name, squared off in court in Shanghai on Wednesday, where Apple argued that a ban on iPad sales would be a negative for the nation of China.

"Proview has no product, no markets, no customers and no suppliers. It has nothing," Hu Jinnan, a lawyer representing Apple, told the court, according to Reuters. "Apple has huge sales in China. Its fans line up to buy Apple products. The ban, if executed, would not only hurt Apple sales but it would also hurt China's national interest."

More than 100 reporters were present for the hearing. A ruling from the Shanghai Pudong New Area People's Court is expected to be handed down soon.

Proview has contended that it owns the rights to the iPad name, and seeks to halt sales of Apple's hot-selling tablet in China. The company has even has some small successes in having units pulled from shelves in a handful of cities.

Officials with Proview indicated once again on Wednesday that they are open to settle with Apple out of court. Roger Xie, a lawyer representing Proview, said negotiations have not yet begun, but a settlement outside of the court is "quite possible."




Proview's ownership of the iPad name stems from a product it released in 1999 with the same name. It was a basic desktop computer that was designed to be easy to use.

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.

As its struggles against Proview have dragged on, Apple this week threatened to sue the company for defamation. Apple has claimed that Proview has released false and misleading statements to the press.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 67
Come on, let's put this issue to bed already.
post #3 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Proview has no product, no markets, no customers and no suppliers. It has nothing," Hu Jinnan, a lawyer representing Apple, told the court, according to Reuters. "Apple has huge sales in China. Its fans line up to buy Apple products. The ban, if executed, would not only hurt Apple sales but it would also hurt China's national interest."

Weak. Very weak.

What happenend to "We bought it fair and square"?

What happened to "Look at these emails"?
post #4 of 67
Hmm.. interesting argument

On an unrelated note, I thought I recognised that Proview logo from somewhere - then I remembered that we used to sell them when I was working at PC World back during the late 90's and early 00's.

They were pretty good quality at the time. Here is a review I found on one of them...

post #5 of 67
The reporting on this issue has been strange. I don't know the finer legal points, though I see the logic in each side's claims. It really comes down to legal details on the transaction that few of us here are qualified to speak on. (I happen to fall into the category that thinks that the seller is trying to break the contract because they realize they WAY underpriced their product, but I cannot be certain that they don't have a legal point in their favor.)

Nevertheless, I find it odd that Apple's lawyers talk about the impact of the verdict on China. It also seems strange that the judge would say that iPad sales could not be stopped because it is popular. Seems to me, the case should be decided based on points of law and not what is difficult or most profitable...
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post #6 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

What happenend to "We bought it fair and square"?

What happened to "Look at these emails"?

I would assume these legal arguments were presented as well, but adding this political consideration seems apropriate in a country known for a judicial system that takes politics into consideration...
post #7 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Weak. Very weak.

What happenend to "We bought it fair and square"?

What happened to "Look at these emails"?

Apparently "fair and square" along with physical evidence has failed to persuade the courts. That being the case, Apple is now speeking a language the court should understand...
post #8 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoXoM View Post

Hmm.. interesting argument

On an unrelated note, I thought I recognised that Proview logo from somewhere - then I remembered that we used to sell them when I was working at PC World back during the late 90's and early 00's.

I had a Proview monitor at work a million years ago. It had accessory speakers that could be attached to the sides. Back in the "multimedia computer" days.

It was a POS.
post #9 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


Nevertheless, I find it odd that Apple's lawyers talk about the impact of the verdict on China. It also seems strange that the judge would say that iPad sales could not be stopped because it is popular. Seems to me, the case should be decided based on points of law and not what is difficult or most profitable...

My assumption is that these arguments are a way for Proview to save face, and perhaps allow for a modest settlement, rather than telling Proview they have no case at all, or they are acting in bad faith.
post #10 of 67
It will come down to the fact that People's Republic of China does not diplomatically recognize Republic of China (Tawain) and will rule in favor of the People's Republic of China entity.

Assuming that Apple will settle for a "lower" amount to avoid a complete breakdown of the global iPad business and manufacturing within the People's Republic of China.
post #11 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

The reporting on this issue has been strange. I don't know the finer legal points, though I see the logic in each side's claims. It really comes down to legal details on the transaction that few of us here are qualified to speak on. (I happen to fall into the category that thinks that the seller is trying to break the contract because they realize they WAY underpriced their product, but I cannot be certain that they don't have a legal point in their favor.)

Nevertheless, I find it odd that Apple's lawyers talk about the impact of the verdict on China. It also seems strange that the judge would say that iPad sales could not be stopped because it is popular. Seems to me, the case should be decided based on points of law and not what is difficult or most profitable...

First of all, I would think Apple advanced several other legal arguments but the reporter just chose to highlight those statements about national interest because they are more interesting.

Second, this is not a U.S. court. This is a court in a communist country and based on other pronouncements I've read supposedly by Chinese courts, a judge represents the interests of the state because the interests of the state are built into the law.

Thirdly, I'm no expert on the topic so my opinion is as good as anyone else's. Digest all of the above with a grain of salt.
post #12 of 67
Proview is trying to get paid twice for the same thing. They need to be thrown out of court. Could you imagine if every company had to pay the subsidiary of a company one price and then you had to go in and pay the parent company more money. That's crazy!!!! Proview is nothing but a bunch of grifters trying to get rich quick.
post #13 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple and Proview, the company challenging over the use of the "iPad" name, squared off in court in Shanghai on Wednesday, where Apple argued that a ban on iPad sales would be a negative for the nation of China.
...

A ban on iPad in China would be about as much a negative for the nation of China as a ban on game consoles.
post #14 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

A ban on iPad in China would be about as much a negative for the nation of China as a ban on game consoles.

-ve for the nation? Not really. Most people are buying the iPads from the smugglers anyway.

Also, when did the Chinese government care about whether a decision is -ve for the nation? When did the Chinese government care about the rule of law?

You can't use logic there, the only way to get through this is to use relationship. That's it. The sooner AAPL recognizes this, the sooner this is put to bed. It's silly to try to fight this, they've $100B, they can easily bribe a few officials' sons and be done with it.
post #15 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Weak. Very weak.

What happenend to "We bought it fair and square"?

What happened to "Look at these emails"?

The argument about hurting the Chinese national interest is only about the question of banning iPad sales, not about the underlying trademark dispute. Proview wants a ban on iPad sales before the trademark dispute is finally settled. Since Proview has no product, no sales, no competing "iPad" product, no nothing, they are not harmed by continued sale of the iPad. Obviously Apple would be harmed, but Apple's alleging also a harm to China from a ban on the sale of Apple's iPad.
post #16 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

-ve for the nation? Not really. Most people are buying the iPads from the smugglers anyway.

Also, when did the Chinese government care about whether a decision is -ve for the nation? When did the Chinese government care about the rule of law?

You can't use logic there, the only way to get through this is to use relationship. That's it. The sooner AAPL recognizes this, the sooner this is put to bed. It's silly to try to fight this, they've $100B, they can easily bribe a few officials' sons and be done with it.

Once you open that Pandora's box, you can't close it. Better to tell the official's sons to go to hell. $100b is also enough to keep them boxed up waiting for bribes up to the grave. They have a lot of officials with a lot of sons.

Don't confuse "the nation" with "the rule of law" or "the people." If the Chinese government can be convinced that the ban would harm the Chinese government, that will be a powerful factor.
post #17 of 67
I'll say it once again. It's time Apple tell Foxconn to get the Brazilian facility up to capacity ASAP and that Foxconn needs to scout alternative,non-Chinese locations for manufacturing. The threat of moving production from China will cause the court to move with great caution. But this should not be a threat- Apple should insist that Foxconn diversify their manufacturing base because it is the prudent thing to do.
post #18 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


Nevertheless, I find it odd that Apple's lawyers talk about the impact of the verdict on China. It also seems strange that the judge would say that iPad sales could not be stopped because it is popular. Seems to me, the case should be decided based on points of law and not what is difficult or most profitable...

If you think of it this way it is not so odd. China has developed the most flexible and modern manufacturing system in the world. There is a reason why electronics are built there. However, if companies in China do not respect legal agreements or the Legal environment is so obfuscated that foreign companies cannot purchase a trademark or name with assurance, that becomes a huge issue. If doing business in China leaves a company open to legal problems like this... It will negate the pluses of manufacturing in China.

Apple is trying to point this out to the Chinese legal system.
post #19 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorotea9999 View Post

If you think of it this way it is not so odd. China has developed the most flexible and modern manufacturing system in the world...

... ever since they took over from the Egyptians...

post #20 of 67
I would love to see Apple walk into the negotiations and offer Proview another $55,000 dollars for the iPad name. Then when Proview refuses walk back out and keep fighting it in court.

Oh, and as an added bonus to the only "law" many Chinese courts understand, politics. I would make it clear that with Brazil's plant coming online soon for manufacturing the iPad that perhaps it would be best if Apple moved all of their iPad production out of China.

Heck, why stop there. Perhaps they need to move all of their production out of China. I hear that Africa has some mighty cheap labor and I am sure more than a few countries would climb all over each other to have the billions dollars Apple invest into an economy when it makes a product there.
post #21 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoXoM View Post

Hmm.. interesting argument

On an unrelated note, I thought I recognised that Proview logo from somewhere - then I remembered that we used to sell them when I was working at PC World back during the late 90's and early 00's.

They were pretty good quality at the time. Here is a review I found on one of them...


, blast from the past... but the "ipad" name isn't listed in the review, hence proview is wrong... so, all they need to do is find a computer magazine article from back in the day that lists the name "ipad" and they have won... except that the late steve jobs was in the computer industry front and center and would have known if that was the case.

well, if proview wants to win this, get a way-back-machine, and place an ad for their "eye-pad" in BYTE magazine, or the "computer shopper", "pc world"...

ya that's it... proview forgot that they named it "eye pad"... NOT "ipad"...
post #22 of 67
Foxconn needs to get involved with this case for their own benefit.

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post #23 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

... ever since they took over from the Egyptians...


except those pyramids required precision that is only possible by using skilled craftsmen in the arts of brick laying...
post #24 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Weak. Very weak.

What happenend to "We bought it fair and square"?

What happened to "Look at these emails"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

The reporting on this issue has been strange. I don't know the finer legal points, though I see the logic in each side's claims. It really comes down to legal details on the transaction that few of us here are qualified to speak on. (I happen to fall into the category that thinks that the seller is trying to break the contract because they realize they WAY underpriced their product, but I cannot be certain that they don't have a legal point in their favor.)

Nevertheless, I find it odd that Apple's lawyers talk about the impact of the verdict on China. It also seems strange that the judge would say that iPad sales could not be stopped because it is popular. Seems to me, the case should be decided based on points of law and not what is difficult or most profitable...

As others have pointed out, we have to keep in mind that the China is, after all, a Communist country and the judicial system is not necessarily an independent entity like in other countries. Also, being an Asian culture, "saving face" and "apologies" are very powerful concepts. Apple's threat of filing a defamation lawsuit and arguing that Proview's actions are hurting the country as a whole are probably very valid arguements to be making in such a venue.
post #25 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Foxconn needs to get involved with this case for their own benefit.

If Apple had the choice to ditch Foxcon, then why is it currently putting up with the damage to their brand that Foxcon is creating?

ISTM that Apple is in deep and would have significant trouble changing its entire worldwide production system.

Such a move would likely take significant amounts of time, and even more significant amounts of money.
post #26 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Weak. Very weak.

What happenend to "We bought it fair and square"?

What happened to "Look at these emails"?

Just guessing: Maybe they've also argued that.

What's your thinking, Zuzz?
post #27 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

It's silly to try to fight this, they've $100B, they can easily bribe a few officials' sons and be done with it.

Wow. You do need to educate yourself, son. See: http://www.fcpa.us/
post #28 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by williamh View Post

The argument about hurting the Chinese national interest is only about the question of banning iPad sales, not about the underlying trademark dispute. Proview wants a ban on iPad sales before the trademark dispute is finally settled. Since Proview has no product, no sales, no competing "iPad" product, no nothing, they are not harmed by continued sale of the iPad. Obviously Apple would be harmed, but Apple's alleging also a harm to China from a ban on the sale of Apple's iPad.

That makes sense.
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post #29 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

If Apple had the choice to ditch Foxcon, then why is it currently putting up with the damage to their brand that Foxcon is creating?

ISTM that Apple is in deep and would have significant trouble changing its entire worldwide production system.

Such a move would likely take significant amounts of time, and even more significant amounts of money.

Deleted. Zither seems to be trying this morning, except for his first post, which was a "weak, very weak" attempt at trouble-making.
post #30 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by pk22901 View Post

Just guessing: Maybe they've also argued that.

What's your thinking, Zuzz?

I originally missed that this was another local "ban sales" hearing, rather than the higher court appeal, which is still pending.

In the higher court, the subject is whether or not there was a transfer of ownership. In this court, the subject seems to rightly include the larger effects of banning sales, pending a (more?) final decision that Apple does not own the trademark.

The ultimate question is under appeal. This court decides what to do in the meantime, in one area. Likely, because the question is different, the arguments too need to be different.
post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Nevertheless, I find it odd that Apple's lawyers talk about the impact of the verdict on China. It also seems strange that the judge would say that iPad sales could not be stopped because it is popular. Seems to me, the case should be decided based on points of law and not what is difficult or most profitable...

You have to understand. Apple is fighting Chinese company in Chinese court. It has to remind Chinese judge how important iPad is to China.
post #32 of 67
Proview doesn't negotiate and offers to sell the "iPad" name to SAMEsung for use in China for a hefty sum? I'm sure SAMEsung will not think twice knowing that it loves to taunt Apple all the time.
post #33 of 67
s/iPad/MacPad/g

Or any other name they care to. It's not uncommon to use different names in different places. ProView owns the trademark in China, I don't see how they could prevent someone from building a product for explicit export into another country where they don't own the trademark.

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post #34 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NextTechnocrati View Post

Proview doesn't negotiate and offers to sell the "iPad" name to SAMEsung for use in China for a hefty sum? I'm sure SAMEsung will not think twice knowing that it loves to taunt Apple all the time.

First, they don't have rights to the name, Apple does.

Second, don't do that. You know what I'm talking about; it's just childish.

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post #35 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NextTechnocrati View Post

Proview doesn't negotiate and offers to sell the "iPad" name to SAMEsung for use in China for a hefty sum? I'm sure SAMEsung will not think twice knowing that it loves to taunt Apple all the time.

The Hong Kong court enjoined Proview from further encumbering the trademark. They did that because they decided that there were significant questions that each needed a full trial to decide, and that in the meantime, the status quo should be preserved.
post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

First, they don't have rights to the name, Apple does.



No court has ever made that judgement, and the official Chinese trademark registry says otherwise.

Apple has a claim that in all fairness, the trademark should be transferred to them. But that is all Apple has at this point.

I don't think that the current ownership is in question, but rather, the question is whether whether ownership should be transferred from Proview to Apple.
post #37 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

No court has ever made that judgement, and the official Chinese trademark registry says otherwise.

Apple has a claim that in all fairness, the trademark should be transferred to them. But that is all Apple has at this point. I don't think that the current ownership is in question, but rather, the question is whether whether ownership should be transferred from Proview to Apple.

You are incorrect. The Hong Kong court has already made that judgment. Proview would be in contempt of that court if they try to sell the trademark before everything is resolved.

Apple made another argument which has so far been ignored. They argued that Proview has not used the iPad trademark for years and therefore they have lost the rights to the trademark.

I can't see any way that Proview can win this - since Yang (who runs all the different Proviews) was involved in the transaction. He can not claim that the subsidiary acted without his approval - since he controls the subsidiary and was involved with the deal.
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post #38 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Weak. Very weak.

What happenend to "We bought it fair and square"?

What happened to "Look at these emails"?

They aren't talking about that at this point. THey are talking about banning import and especially export of the product until it is settled. Remember they are possibly about to release an new iPad. If the government bans exports then that kills that release everywhere. So that's the first concern.

Then once that is covered they will deal with the whole 'we already bought it' issue. Which might come down to Apple agreeing to pay for China but not at the current value. After all they acted in good faith, it was Proview that didn't. So why should they make billions for 'cheating' so let them have a second payment of $50k which was the value of the 'mark when the sale was taking place.
post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

You are incorrect. The Hong Kong court has already made that judgment.



If you can quote language from the Hong Kong decision in which they have reached a final judgement that Apple owns the trademark in China, please do so.

I did not see any such language. If I missed it, please quote it.

The Hong Kong decision can be accessed at All Things D. Look at the Appendix, which lists the actual decisions made. Also check out Paragraph 1, which states that the decision relates to an application for an interlocutory injunction.

No decision was made with respect to the ultimate ownership of the Chinese trademark. No such decision was asked for. Instead, the decision relates to Apple's request for certain injunctions, pending a trial on the issue of ownership.

This stuff is complicated, but it isn't THAT complicated. There are 5 players, and so far, 3 or 4 major venues.
post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Weak. Very weak.

What happenend to "We bought it fair and square"?

What happened to "Look at these emails"?

I'm sure that's part of it also.
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