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Shanghai court sides with Apple in iPad trademark dispute, sales to continue

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Apple can continue to sell the iPad in Shanghai after a local court sided with the company in a trademark dispute over ownership of the "iPad" name.

Apple's victory over Proview, which for years sold a different product with the name "I-PAD," was confirmed by a source with direct knowledge of the ruling to Reuters on Thursday. The Shanghai Pudong New Area People's Court made the decision quickly after a hearing was held on Wednesday.

At that hearing, Apple argued that a ban on iPad sales would be a negative for the nation of China. A lawyer representing Apple said that Proview has no products or customers, while Apple has "huge sales in China," and therefore prohibiting sales of the iPad would "hurt China's national interest."

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. Though Thursday's ruling was a major setback for Proview, the company had previously had some minor successes in having a small number of iPad units pulled from shelves in a handful of cities.

Apple bought the right to use the iPad name from one of Proview's Taiwanese affiliates, but officials at Proview believe that was an unauthorized transaction, and the company has sought as much as $2 billion from Apple to use the iPad name. Apple, however, believes that Proview is not honoring up the original deal that was struck between the two companies.




Thursday's ruling was particularly significant for Apple because the company has three major flagship stores in Shanghai. A loss there would have barred sales of the iPad from some of its most heavily trafficked retail locations in the world.

Though the Shanghai victory is significant for Apple, it still faces challenges from Proview elsewhere. The company has even gone as far as to ask the Chinese government to block exportation of the iPad, which would effectively bring global sales of the device to a halt.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 63
If Proview is smart they will make a deal now, and not be too greedy about it (a few million not a few billion).
post #3 of 63
Proview should get nothing and Apple should not settle.

If anything Apple should sue them for defamation and wipe them off the map.
I understand that they have some investment banks behind them, perhaps Apple can sue them too.

Just look at the evidence...

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

Proview sold the name globally including China and got paid for it.
post #4 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

If Proview is smart they will make a deal now, and not be too greedy about it (a few million not a few billion).

It's probably too late for them to get even millions. The only deal they're likely to get now is a deal for Apple not to sue them for defamation if they drop all further proceedings.

BTW, I can't wait to see the response from all the usual Apple Haters who insisted that Apple was in the wrong for not doing sufficient due diligence.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #5 of 63
That glass looks really cool. Talk about imputing brand significance...
post #6 of 63
don't worry, apple is still doomed!
/s
post #7 of 63
That was quick!
post #8 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Proview should get nothing and Apple should not settle.

If anything Apple should sue them for defamation and wipe them off the map.
I understand that they have some investment banks behind them, perhaps Apple can sue them too.

Just look at the evidence...

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

Proview sold the name globally including China and got paid for it.

Right on!
post #9 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple can continue to sell the iPad in Shanghai after a local court sided with the company in a trademark dispute over ownership of the "iPad" name.



The plot thickens!
post #10 of 63
iCongrats!!!

Job well done.
post #11 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Just look at the evidence...

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

Proview sold the name globally including China and got paid for it.

I had not seen those documents. Yes, Proview should get nothing.
post #12 of 63
Take them to the cleaners.
post #13 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Proview should get nothing and Apple should not settle.

From a tactical point of view Apple should settle out of court for the 32M (I think that's the number, is it?) Proview is asking for. They shouldn't risk losing the bigger case. Although I'm not a lawyer so I wouldn't even take my advice on this
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 #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Basty View Post

iCongrats!!!

Job well done.

iCongrats!!!

Jobs well done
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 #15 of 63
So is this court hearing finished? I just read an article on WSJ that made it sound like the judge rejected the temporary injunction that Proview was seeking. That they would wait for the results from the Feb. 29 appeal of the lower court ruling against Apple in another region of China and would then proceed with more hearings in the Shanghai case.

The AI article makes it sound like a done deal and Proview loses in Shanghai. I would like that to be true, but there seem to be conflicting reports.
post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post

So is this court hearing finished? I just read an article on WSJ that made it sound like the judge rejected the temporary injunction that Proview was seeking. That they would wait for the results from the Feb. 29 appeal of the lower court ruling against Apple in another region of China and would then proceed with more hearings in the Shanghai case.

The AI article makes it sound like a done deal and Proview loses in Shanghai. I would like that to be true, but there seem to be conflicting reports.

What I've read doesn't indicate it's a "done deal". Simply a rejection of the request for a sales injunction I think.
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post #17 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post

So is this court hearing finished? I just read an article on WSJ that made it sound like the judge rejected the temporary injunction that Proview was seeking. That they would wait for the results from the Feb. 29 appeal of the lower court ruling against Apple in another region of China and would then proceed with more hearings in the Shanghai case.

The AI article makes it sound like a done deal and Proview loses in Shanghai. I would like that to be true, but there seem to be conflicting reports.

You have to blame poor translation for this. The official Shanghai court ruling is very clear. Shanghai court only rejected a preliminary injunction against Apple. The trademark ownership issue is yet to be decided in another court located in Guangdong.
post #18 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Basty View Post

iCongrsts! Job well done.

Or maybe that should be 'Jobs, Well Done!'

Or as Yoda from Star Wars would say, "Steve Jobs very well groom Tim Cook I did!"

Or in warpped English: 'I, Steve Jobs, did groom Tim Cook very well!'
/
/
/

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #19 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

What I've read doesn't indicate it's a "done deal". Simply a rejection of the request for a sales injunction I think.

The article here says "Though the Shanghai victory is significant for Apple, it still faces challenges from Proview elsewhere." This sentence only makes sense if the author thinks Apple no longer faces challenges from Proview in Shanghai. Since this is just an early ruling and nothing final it would make sense to say so instead of indicating that Apple has no more challenges to face from Proview in Shanghai. To me it's misleading (or a misunderstanding of the situation on the part of the author).
post #20 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post

To me it's misleading (or a misunderstanding of the situation on the part of the author).

Perhaps either. . .
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post #21 of 63
All the more reason to throw Proview a bone and talk this over outside the court now. Hand over something in reasonable size, then both Yang can Apple can go home. Life goes on.

Apple has a bigger fish to fry now. Worker Rights activist case against Apple and Foxconn didn't though to be important, but now the charge sticks. I don't know why but it does.

Get ProView out of Apple's hair, THEN take care of this Nightline debacle before Obama pick this up, and whacks Apple like pinata later in his election campaign.
post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

If Proview is smart they will make a deal now, and not be too greedy about it (a few million not a few billion).

They have already 45 iPad's. That's already to much IMO. I still think Mr. Yang deserves prison for his doings.
post #23 of 63
Trademark trolls are the lowest of the trolls.
post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omegalink View Post

Right on!

With the money they have to spend in court, Proview is now officially be out of cash period... they're as good as dead. Their last source of air is extinguished! Good riddance!
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

Trademark trolls are the lowest of the trolls.

Mmm I think patent trolls are lower.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

don't worry, apple is still doomed!
/s

Yet another glimmer of hope goes up in smoke for the haters and trolls.
post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

... I still think Mr. Yang deserves prison for his doings.

This is way too harsh. You are either joking or being just plain mean.

It's a disagreement over a contract. He should be imprisoned for having the temerity to disagree with Apple? That's just crazy.

It seems to me that it's pretty obvious that Proview is in the wrong and if it turns out that they are, they will pay all the court costs and nuisance fees etc. as part of the judgement. At least this is typically how court cases like this go.

Apple, while legally in the right, basically got a property off of Proview for pennies on the dollar (or even less), relative to what it's worth. Even if it turns out that they have to pay Proview more money as well as pay all their own court costs it's still arguable that this cost would be fair value for the trademark.
post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is way too harsh. You are either joking or being just plain mean.

It's a disagreement over a contract. He should be imprisoned for having the temerity to disagree with Apple? That's just crazy.

It seems to me that it's pretty obvious that Proview is in the wrong and if it turns out that they are, they will pay all the court costs and nuisance fees etc. as part of the judgement. At least this is typically how court cases like this go.

Apple, while legally in the right, basically got a property off of Proview for pennies on the dollar (or even less), relative to what it's worth. Even if it turns out that they have to pay Proview more money as well as pay all their own court costs it's still arguable that this cost would be fair value for the trademark.

But the name is only worth money because of Apple. It was worth pennies while Proview owned it
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is way too harsh. You are either joking or being just plain mean.

It's a disagreement over a contract. He should be imprisoned for having the temerity to disagree with Apple? That's just crazy.

It seems to me that it's pretty obvious that Proview is in the wrong and if it turns out that they are, they will pay all the court costs and nuisance fees etc. as part of the judgement. At least this is typically how court cases like this go.

Apple, while legally in the right, basically got a property off of Proview for pennies on the dollar (or even less), relative to what it's worth. Even if it turns out that they have to pay Proview more money as well as pay all their own court costs it's still arguable that this cost would be fair value for the trademark.

Mr. Yang and his company are reporting lies to the media. Apple has threatened suit over the false statements. Many Chinese people go to prison for telling the truth about what goes on in the country (human rights violations by the government). They clearly don't have our 1st Amendment rights. So, if people go to prison for telling the truth why shouldn't they also for actually lying in that country?

It makes no sense to say that Apple got the iPad name for pennies of it's relative worth. They bought the trademark in 2009 when the current iPad did not yet exist as an official product. There was no way to know at the time that it would be a tremendous success. If the iPad had been a flop we wouldn't even be having this suit. The value of the iPad name in 2009 what whatever price Proview was willing to sell at, which happened to be 35,000 pounds. Apple didn't get a bargain, they paid what it was worth.
post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is way too harsh. You are either joking or being just plain mean.

It's a disagreement over a contract. He should be imprisoned for having the temerity to disagree with Apple? That's just crazy.

It seems to me that it's pretty obvious that Proview is in the wrong and if it turns out that they are, they will pay all the court costs and nuisance fees etc. as part of the judgement. At least this is typically how court cases like this go.

Apple, while legally in the right, basically got a property off of Proview for pennies on the dollar (or even less), relative to what it's worth. Even if it turns out that they have to pay Proview more money as well as pay all their own court costs it's still arguable that this cost would be fair value for the trademark.

What part of 'free market' do you not understand? Apple paid the price that the two companies agreed upon. Whether you or anyone else thinks that's a fair price is irrelevant.


I've been doing more reading from other sources and Apple does have a problem here, but not the one being bandied about.

It is clear that Yang was running all three companies and ordinarily would have had the authority to sell the trade name. The issue of which subsidiary sold the name is irrelevant since he had the authority for all of them - and some of the negotiations were on Proview Shenzen letterhead.

The problem is that NONE of the Proview organizations had the legal right to sell the name without the bank's approval. The banks had seized Proview's assets as much as 9 months before Yang signed the agreement and Yang's authority to sell assets was no longer valid. The banks did not approve the transfer, so there is a strong argument (by the banks, not Yang) that the trademark was not legally transferred.

So Yang has a problem. He must choose between three options:

1. Admit that he sold the asset to Apple and side with Apple. He could claim that the value was too small to be of consequence and the banks should not be able to reverse the deal. Apple would be happy but the banks would not.

2. Admit that he fraudulently sold the asset to Apple when he didn't have the legal right to do so. He apparently never told Apple that there was a restriction on selling assets. That would be a criminal charge in the U.S., but I'm not sure about China. This wouldn't really make anyone happy. In this case, Apple might be able to retain the trademark via the 'unclean hands' doctrine.

3. Play games to try to come up with a scenario where he could argue that the trademark was never actually sold. This would keep the banks happy if they can retain the trademark and then sell it to Apple for a higher price (now that the iPad is already on the market).

It looks like he's chosen #3, presumably because he's more scared of the banks than of Apple.

However, in this case, Apple should not waste its time negotiating with Yang. Rather, they should negotiate with the banks and/or pursue the legal options.
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post #31 of 63
What is particularly hilarious about Proview is that its original IPAD was an iMac ripoff that came out just after Apple introduced the iMac.

Apple paid them for the name 6-7 years after they went bust trying to rip them off, then a couple years later Proview turns around and tries to extort more millions out of Apple using China's crony courts.

The thing is, iPad doesn't even matter in China. You could call it XYpad and it would sell. Apple also sells Airport devices in Japan under the AirMac name. The brand doesn't matter a bit.

Also, iPad pales in comparison to where Apple makes its real money: iPhone. But even more importantly, outside of some tiny payoff court, China's command economy justice system is not going to back some bankrupt troll to the tune of a few millions and lose not just Apple, but all the manufacturing business it has. Even the country's most corrupt judges know better than to stab out the country's own eye for such little payoff.

The only people promoting this as a legitimate claim are sites like BGR and 9to5 that trumpet phony crises that they either know are bs or are too ignorant to see past their own smoke and mirrors.

Remember how big of a crisis is was going to be for Apple to get the iPhone name? or how iOS was an issue? or App Store? People still act like Apple is not in the driver's seat and hasn't been running the show for the last half decade.

I guess that's as good of a way to manipulate the market as any. Next up we can discuss the seriousness of petitioners claiming they need to affect action and "raise awareness" of specific incidents that Apple reported having corrected among its suppliers a year ago, so they "don't keep doing it" in "their" factories.
post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

What is particularly hilarious about Proview is that its original IPAD was an iMac ripoff that came out just after Apple introduced the iMac.

Apple paid them for the name 6-7 years after they went bust trying to rip them off, then a couple years later Proview turns around and tries to extort more millions out of Apple using China's crony courts.

The thing is, iPad doesn't even matter in China. You could call it XYpad and it would sell. Apple also sells Airport devices in Japan under the AirMac name. The brand doesn't matter a bit.

Also, iPad pales in comparison to where Apple makes its real money: iPhone. But even more importantly, outside of some tiny payoff court, China's command economy justice system is not going to back some bankrupt troll to the tune of a few millions and lose not just Apple, but all the manufacturing business it has. Even the country's most corrupt judges know better than to stab out the country's own eye for such little payoff.

The only people promoting this as a legitimate claim are sites like BGR and 9to5 that trumpet phony crises that they either know are bs or are too ignorant to see past their own smoke and mirrors.

Remember how big of a crisis is was going to be for Apple to get the iPhone name? or how iOS was an issue? or App Store? People still act like Apple is not in the driver's seat and hasn't been running the show for the last half decade.

I guess that's as good of a way to manipulate the market as any. Next up we can discuss the seriousness of petitioners claiming they need to affect action and "raise awareness" of specific incidents that Apple reported having corrected among its suppliers a year ago, so they "don't keep doing it" in "their" factories.

Re: the bolded. See my previous response. Proview is no longer relevant here. It's all about the banks. Apparently, the banks had taken control of Proview's assets in 2009 - 9 months before Proview sold the name to Apple. While Proview may be the front here, the banks are actually the ones with the strong argument. I don't have the specifics, but the banks may not be able to be directly involved because of statute of limitations issues or some other legal technicality.
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post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is way too harsh. You are either joking or being just plain mean.

It's a disagreement over a contract. He should be imprisoned for having the temerity to disagree with Apple? That's just crazy.

It seems to me that it's pretty obvious that Proview is in the wrong and if it turns out that they are, they will pay all the court costs and nuisance fees etc. as part of the judgement. At least this is typically how court cases like this go.

Apple, while legally in the right, basically got a property off of Proview for pennies on the dollar (or even less), relative to what it's worth. Even if it turns out that they have to pay Proview more money as well as pay all their own court costs it's still arguable that this cost would be fair value for the trademark.

,
Have you read the papers? Proview is a dead company (whose prior product probably infringed on the teardrop iMac BTW), at the time they sold the rights they were desperate for the cash. Read the papers to see how often their representative asked for the cash to be sent, they needed the cash then. Now they are a ghost company with rats chewing the electrical cords for the glue in the paper insulation. Their case is an extortion where they are not honoring their contract. If apple paid them more it would only encourage other suits from other companies under contract.


Put a fork in them.
post #34 of 63
What "debacle"? Apple INVITED Nightline to Foxxcon and gave Nightline complete access and only declined on interviews with Cook and Ive. If it was a debacle, it sure was a quite one. I haven't seen a peep about the show anywhere on any tech or main stream media news site since it aired.

Apple should not settle anything with Proview, because all that would do would be to invite more frivolous law suits in future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairthrope View Post

All the more reason to throw Proview a bone and talk this over outside the court now. Hand over something in reasonable size, then both Yang can Apple can go home. Life goes on.

Apple has a bigger fish to fry now. Worker Rights activist case against Apple and Foxconn didn't though to be important, but now the charge sticks. I don't know why but it does.

Get ProView out of Apple's hair, THEN take care of this Nightline debacle before Obama pick this up, and whacks Apple like pinata later in his election campaign.
post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

The only people promoting this as a legitimate claim are sites like BGR and 9to5 that trumpet phony crises that they either know are bs or are too ignorant to see past their own smoke and mirrors.

Really? With 18 articles in 5 days at AI pertaining to China, and 6 of those specifically regarding Proview are you saying AppleInsider isn't as guilty as 9to5Mac of keeping these stories in the news? Even here the focus all week has been on China, working conditions and Proview.
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post #36 of 63
Told you so
post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Really? With 18 articles in 5 days at AI pertaining to China, and 6 of those specifically regarding Proview are you saying AppleInsider isn't as guilty as 9to5Mac of keeping these stories in the news? Even here the focus all week has been on China, working conditions and Proview.

I think the AI articles have been alright. There were more seizures in other cities a few days ago and AI actually didn't report that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

If Proview is smart they will make a deal now, and not be too greedy about it (a few million not a few billion).

As I said before, the best deal they can hope for is Tim Cook personally giving them the finger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairthrope View Post

All the more reason to throw Proview a bone and talk this over outside the court now. Hand over something in reasonable size, then both Yang can Apple can go home.

See above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is way too harsh. You are either joking or being just plain mean.

It's a disagreement over a contract. He should be imprisoned for having the temerity to disagree with Apple? That's just crazy.

It seems to me that it's pretty obvious that Proview is in the wrong and if it turns out that they are, they will pay all the court costs and nuisance fees etc. as part of the judgement. At least this is typically how court cases like this go.

Apple, while legally in the right, basically got a property off of Proview for pennies on the dollar (or even less), relative to what it's worth. Even if it turns out that they have to pay Proview more money as well as pay all their own court costs it's still arguable that this cost would be fair value for the trademark.

Not so easy for Mr. Yang and Proview. Firstly is the Hong Kong decision which, though unlikely, may be imposed on Mr. Yang if the dictatorship thinks he's ruffled too many feathers and they need a whipping boy to save face and ensure Apple and Western interests stay... well, interested.

The Hong Kong court was very scathing, saying Mr. Yang acted all along with "conspiracy to injure" ~ certainly not lightly used in legal parlance.

Secondly, Apple can sue for damages, which, surprisingly, it hasn't, AFAIK. The brand damage, loss of sales, seizure of iPads etc. is a pretty big deal, that could be shown that this whole fiasco not only was a big headache but a costly one to Apple as well, all for a trademark which they already bought.

Again, legally, there's a lot more that can be brought upon Proview, which I think Apple will do if and once the higher court rules in Apple's favour.

But it's all up to the dictatorship in China. In Malaysia, this is all called "test water"... shorthand for "testing the waters" ~ a classic tactic used in Asia. China's dictatorship is sitting back, seeing how far they can push a splinter into the toenails of major developed countries. Then when it's clear they're heading for the cliff, set up Mr. Yang and Proview as the fall guy, and save face by stepping in to "save the day and set things right", publicly flogging (metaphorically, I hope) said scapegoat and making promises to reform trademarks in China.

Test Water
post #38 of 63
The Bank of China factor is going to make things interesting. They were a creditor since 2009 and needed to approve any asset sales.
post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilraman View Post

I think the AI articles have been alright. There were more seizures in other cities a few days ago and AI actually didn't report that..

The AI articles have been fine. Reasonably accurate and certainly news-worthy. I was only noting that 9to5 and BGR aren't the only "guilty" ones promoting these stories. AI is all too happy to go for the eyeballs too.
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post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is way too harsh. You are either joking or being just plain mean.

It's a disagreement over a contract. He should be imprisoned for having the temerity to disagree with Apple? That's just crazy.

If he knew full well that Taiwan didn't own the Chinese trademark and actively defrauded the buyer, I see that as possibly criminal. Fraud is a crime.
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