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Proview profiled as a near-dead company with 'IPAD' name as its only major asset

post #1 of 38
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Once a significant technology company with 18,000 employees, Proview is now a nearly dead operation where officials are banking on cashing in on a trademark dispute with Apple over the "iPad" name.

The trademark dispute between Apple and Proview was highlighted Tuesday in a feature published by Reuters. At the center of Proview is company owner Yang Long-san, who still dreams of a comeback with his floundering company, but those hopes are pinned largely on his company's dispute with Apple over the use of the "iPad" name.

The story reveals that Proview employed 18,000 people and had offices around the world at one point, but now it employs only a few hundred. None of its previous operations continue, as the primary focus at Proview now is the trademark case against Apple.

Proview owns the rights to the "IPAD" name in multiple territories, but some of those trademarks were sold in late 2009 to a special purpose company secretly made by Apple named IP Application Development Limited Ltd. Proview has accused Apple of multiple instances of fraud and unfair competition because the company did not reveal it was behind IP Application Development, or "IPAD," when it bought the rights to the name for $55,000.

Now Proview seeks up to $1.6 billion in compensation from Apple for the use of the iPad name. It has also sought to ban sales of the iPad in various cities in China, and is even trying to bar the exportation of the iPad from China, which would effectively bring global sales to a halt.

Proview has even taken its legal action to Apple's home turf, filing a lawsuit against the iPad maker in California earlier this month. Apple is accused in that suit of fraud by intentional misrepresentation, fraud by concealment, fraudulent inducement, and unfair competition.




At its peak, Proview was the manufacturer of a stripped-down PC it called the Internet Personal Access Device, or iPAD. The company also found some success building monitors before the global financial crisis hit and pushed it into bankruptcy.

Yang told Reuters he remains optimistic that his company will win the trademark battle with Apple. Then he will be in a position to rebuild his company and "overtake" his old competitors.

"I hope we can return to our glory days," he said. "I'm sure our shareholders are hoping the same."

But Yang and Proview suffered a major setback last week, when a Shanghai court sided with Apple and has allowed sales of the iPad to continue in that city. That decision will be reviewed by a higher court in the southern Chinese province of Guandong on Wednesday.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 38
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"I hope we can return to our glory days," he said. "I'm sure our shareholders are hoping the same."



But...but...It's all one guy!
post #3 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"I hope we can return to our glory days," he said. "I'm sure our shareholders are hoping the same."

Fool me once... Shame on you!

Fool me twice... Shame on me!
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post #4 of 38
Now they are saying Apple has the trademark but alas, were misled. Sheesh, pick a story and stick to it.
post #5 of 38
The iPad is Proview's last remaining asset? Really Proview? You already SOLD it. It is no longer your asset!

Apple did what every other company does. They kept their identity a secret to prevent you from doing what you are now attempting to do gauge them. The only reason that the name iPad has ANY value whatsoever is because Apple built a great product. Proview had no hand in that.
post #6 of 38
Sounds like the Republican Party brand name.
post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcdinkins View Post

Now they are saying Apple has the trademark but alas, were misled. Sheesh, pick a story and stick to it.

At least the second story is accurate. I would much rather Apple fight the second battle in China than the first. It also has much lower down-side risk in my book.

A quick way to value the iPad name before Apple invested into it is to look back on all the tampon jokes on this forum when announced, including the red MaxiPad holder. People HATED the name.
post #8 of 38
So by now this guy has racked up way more in legal fees than he ever collected from selling the trademark in the first place. Wonder if his lawyers will end up being as badly screwed over as his shareholders.

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post #9 of 38
Best part of this story is how they clearly were trading on the iPod name for their Internet device, and where probably thrilled to make at least 55k off that misadventure. The 1.6 billion figure is absurd. The success of he iPad had nothing at all to do with heir device. In fact, in areas where their device was sold, it was most likely a hindrance.

I know the creditors need to try and get some money out of this disaster, but this is just throwing good money after bad.
post #10 of 38
I think Proview's outside counsel should be sanctioned for advising their clients that they have more than a ghost of a chance of winning this 'fraud by concealment' lawsuit. Since when is a corporation required to divulge its ownership structure when conducting normal business transactions?
post #11 of 38
"Proview has accused Apple of multiple instances of fraud and unfair competition because the company did not reveal it was behind IP Application Development, or "IPAD," when it bought the rights to the name for $55,000."

55,000 hilarious
post #12 of 38
Nothing new here. All rehashed copy text. Must be a slow news day in need of clicks
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

But...but...It's all one guy!

His fate is to become a billionaire or just an other roomy in a chinese prison.

At this point he probably has no other option as to continue his fight as hard as possible.

But I am not going to feel sorry for that guy. His greedy intentions are so obvious. He deserves some timeout in a prison.
post #14 of 38
This kind of reminds me of the Psystar saga. Charges were made about Apple "monopolizing" it's own Mac market. That didn't work either.
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post

Nothing new here. All rehashed copy text. Must be a slow news day in need of clicks

The source article this is written off of by Reuters has some new information but it's mostly inaccurate. They talk about the "IPAD" computer Proview made without even mentioning that it was itself a rip-off of Apple's iMac design. Then they claim that Proview's "design" was later to be seen as the "Compaq iPaq."

There is so much wrong with that it's hard to know where to start.
post #16 of 38
I seriously hope, that even if everything goes in Proview's favor, that Apple concedes the name and goes a different direction, instead of buying the Chinese rights. Then, with "iPad" in China as their only asset, they'll never be able to leave China with any product they produce and they'll still be de-listed and be fully insolvent.
post #17 of 38
So.. Let me get this straight.. They WILLINGLY sold the rights to the name for $55000, but because they weren't told what the buying company's intentions were for the name, they feel now that they are owed more money?

Sorry guys.. That's not how it works, and if your whole remaining business model is the extortion of Apple, I hope you, and your lawyers go bankrupt.
post #18 of 38
Proview's chance of winning in US court is slim. US trademark protection is intended to protect successful products from being exploited. This case is the other way around. Proview should give up. There are many storied of huge fortune lost like one of the original investor of Apple.
post #19 of 38
Proview doesn't have a chance in hell of succeeding.

If the Chinese courts find in favor of Proview, the short term damage is going to be Apple not branding the device in China, and re-branding outside of China, which is trivial, and Proview gains nothing. (See the Nintendo DS/iQue) They may also change the software branding for the Chinese model.

But all this means is that the Chinese market gets models delayed further as extra work has to be done for the Chinese market.

On the flip side, this would paint China again as a dishonest country that steals IP. From American's perspective, this is Proview stealing the iPad trademark that Apple legally purchased. China can't afford to have that image, as it will just send companies to build assembly factories outside of China in countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.

The end-run around trademarks is to build factories where you own the trademark and has the cheapest labor cost.
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by 172pilot View Post

So.. Let me get this straight.. They WILLINGLY sold the rights to the name for $55000, but because they weren't told what the buying company's intentions were for the name, they feel now that they are owed more money?

Sorry guys.. That's not how it works, and if your whole remaining business model is the extortion of Apple, I hope you, and your lawyers go bankrupt.

I know right? I can't figure out what their argument even is. So you sold to a shell company with a meaningful name, big whoop. It's hardly Apple's fault if your due diligence was insufficient. There's no law saying you have to tell someone what you're going to do with the thing you're buying, once you've bought it, it's yours. End of.

I mean, this is how The Walt Disney Company acquired the land for Walt Disney World in Florida. Tale as old as time.

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post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

I Since when is a corporation required to divulge its ownership structure when conducting normal business transactions?

In the US, for this type of transaction, what Apple did was legal. Making this latest suit a very bad idea since it comes with an admission that the sale did go through after all.

Further, Yang and Proview didn't act right off to do something when they found out about who really bought the trademark. That's a huge mistake in trademark law. Not acting right off can be taken to mean that you really don't care. And if you don't care then you aren't allowed to care later. Add to this that there were rumors before the ink was dry on the set up of IPAD Ltd that it was really Apple what with the tablet rumors (tablet = pad) and the iThing name. How could they not have found those rumors and worked based on the notion they were true.

Add to this that weren't apparently using the mark at the time and what Apple did was potentially very generous. They would have possibly filed suit to take the name due to the lack of use, instead they choose to approach Proview and offer a sale.

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post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlevier View Post

I seriously hope, that even if everything goes in Proview's favor, that Apple concedes the name

They won't and they shouldn't. Apple paid for the name and has given proof that they paid for the name and were told that the sale was legit. They should NOT concede the name. Conceding the name would be an act of not caring about the 'mark and it could hurt them in regards to having protected the trademark (big issue in trademark law).

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by 172pilot View Post

So.. Let me get this straight.. They WILLINGLY sold the rights to the name for $55000, but because they weren't told what the buying company's intentions were for the name, they feel now that they are owed more money?

Sorry guys.. That's not how it works, and if your whole remaining business model is the extortion of Apple, I hope you, and your lawyers go bankrupt.

Its like selling some guy a comic book for $1 and then finding out it is worth millions and trying to get it back.

Get over it Proview.
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

They won't and they shouldn't. Apple paid for the name and has given proof that they paid for the name and were told that the sale was legit. They should NOT concede the name. Conceding the name would be an act of not caring about the 'mark and it could hurt them in regards to having protected the trademark (big issue in trademark law).

You chopped my quote and took it out of context. If Apple loses the right to the name, I hope they don't buy it for a billion and a half dollars. I hope they flush Proview down the toilet by relinquishing their interest in the name in China.
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

Its like selling some guy a comic book for $1 and then finding out it is worth millions and trying to get it back.

Get over it Proview.

No it's not. It's like selling some guy a comic book for $1, and the guy you sold it to using it as the basis for the movie script which makes $100M in profit, and the seller then asking for a cut of the profits.
post #26 of 38
Lets put it this way, we all know the government controls the courts in China especially when it comes to big things like this, how do you think the China government is going to respond in the back room discussion.

Do you think they are going to side with a guy who had a failed company in China who obviously loss face, or are they going to side with Apple who alone employees close to 700K employees at Foxconn plus all the employee who work for suppliers who make parts in China for Apple products. I do not think Apple will have to say a thing to china, the government will side with the sure thing not some guy you lost his shirt.
post #27 of 38
By attempting to halt iPad sales in The People's Republic, Proview has acted against the greater good of The People. In light of this counter-revolutionary activity, Proview is now considered an enemy of the state, and as such all of Proview's employees shall be reeducated through labor.

Proview's former employees will repay their debt to The People by working 12 hour shifts 7 days a week at the Longhua, Shenzhen factory of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd (also known as "Foxconn" to bourgeois Western cultures) until the end of their reeducation period. There they will assemble iPad 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 with no salary. They shall live and work on the ground floor(s) of the facility's building(s), and shall not be granted access to any stairways, elevators, ladders, or ropes leading to or hanging from the roof(s) of said building(s).

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post #28 of 38
These people are truly delusional:

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/...-to-ipad-name/

They're not just asking for the China rights to be returned to them, but also the rights to use the name in the rest of the world. They really need to fire their attorneys and hire someone competent.
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post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

So by now this guy has racked up way more in legal fees than he ever collected from selling the trademark in the first place. Wonder if his lawyers will end up being as badly screwed over as his shareholders.

He probably hired some Chinese ambulance-chasers who are working for a percent of the $2 billion Proview wants.
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post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misa View Post

Proview doesn't have a chance in hell of succeeding.

If the Chinese courts find in favor of Proview, the short term damage is going to be Apple not branding the device in China, and re-branding outside of China, which is trivial, and Proview gains nothing. (See the Nintendo DS/iQue) They may also change the software branding for the Chinese model.

But all this means is that the Chinese market gets models delayed further as extra work has to be done for the Chinese market.

On the flip side, this would paint China again as a dishonest country that steals IP. From American's perspective, this is Proview stealing the iPad trademark that Apple legally purchased. China can't afford to have that image, as it will just send companies to build assembly factories outside of China in countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.

The end-run around trademarks is to build factories where you own the trademark and has the cheapest labor cost.

If what you posit is true, then all Apple would need to do for the Chinese market is change the name of the iPad to the Chinese equilivant for "pad" or "tablet" and go full stream ahead. Let the people continue to call it an iPad if they want and turn the Proview trademark into a generic term.

However, I believe that Proview had trademarked the iPad name over a much wider area of geography.
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post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

Best part of this story is how they clearly were trading on the iPod name for their Internet device, and where probably thrilled to make at least 55k off that misadventure. The 1.6 billion figure is absurd. The success of he iPad had nothing at all to do with heir device. In fact, in areas where their device was sold, it was most likely a hindrance.

I know the creditors need to try and get some money out of this disaster, but this is just throwing good money after bad.

The $1.6 billion Proview is asking for the iPad name happens to accidently be the same amount the owner and Proview is in debt to the banks. Hmmmm...
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #32 of 38
My mum used to rent factory warehouses to Proview in Shenzhen, lucky she end her contract with her early, apparently all other warehouses are all sealed...

Update: Sorry just noticed this is actually my first post! Been reading AI for years, yet contribute to anything....
post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcdinkins View Post

Now they are saying Apple has the trademark but alas, were misled. Sheesh, pick a story and stick to it.

Right. Because if Apple didn't mislead them, Proview Taiwan would magically have the authority to sell them the trademark. The only thing that really matters is how big a payday they can get from rich, fat American company.

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post #34 of 38
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Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

The iPad is Proview's last remaining asset? Really Proview? You already SOLD it. It is no longer your asset!

Apple did what every other company does. They kept their identity a secret to prevent you from doing what you are now attempting to do gauge them. The only reason that the name iPad has ANY value whatsoever is because Apple built a great product. Proview had no hand in that.

Amen brother.

If ProView had sold a product named iPad -- wouldn't it STILL be in Chapter 11? What stopped them from selling the name for $65,000?

If Apple had used another name, they'd still have to deliver a good product.

>> Look at the company "google" -- is THAT a obvious name to become the number one search service? Heck no. They have brand recognition because they created a market and delivered a service.
post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Lets put it this way, we all know the government controls the courts in China especially when it comes to big things like this, how do you think the China government is going to respond in the back room discussion.

Do you think they are going to side with a guy who had a failed company in China who obviously loss face, or are they going to side with Apple who alone employees close to 700K employees at Foxconn plus all the employee who work for suppliers who make parts in China for Apple products. I do not think Apple will have to say a thing to china, the government will side with the sure thing not some guy you lost his shirt.

I agree with you.

But on the other hand -- the court case that Proview has is junk. He sold the name to a company. He later finds a BIGGER company uses the name -- and wants it back. That's like putting your kids up for adoption, but then object to the adoption when it's found it was Bill Gates instead of average Joe.

>> Aside from that, I'm pretty sure that in the US courts -- Money talks louder than justice, because those judges have to seek corporate backers to win election as well.
post #36 of 38
Proview profiled as a near-dead company with 'IPAD' name as its only major asset


Shame they sold it for £35,000 ain't it

post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

But...but...It's all one guy!

Glad you now agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Proview owns the rights to the "IPAD" name in multiple territories, but some of those trademarks were sold in late 2009 to a special purpose company secretly made by Apple named IP Application Development Limited Ltd.

Note, not "some of those trademarks", but everything except the China trademarks.
post #38 of 38
The name Yang Long-san, in english, translates to Steve Ballmer.
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