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Proview and Apple argue in China higher court over 'iPad' trademark

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Apple and Proview squared off in a high court in Beijing on Wednesday over use of the "iPad" name, where Apple accused Proview of "conspiratorial" actions to gain money.

The hearing is the result of an appeal from Apple, which lost a decision to Proview in a lower chinese court in December. The high court said Wednesday afternoon that a decision on the case is now pending, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In the arguments before the court, Apple officials said they are "disappointed" that Proview didn't hold up its end of the deal for the iPad trademark. They also said that it's the management of Apple that has created value in the iPad name.

Proview countered that Apple has set a "terrible example in the Chinese intellectual property market" in using the iPad name without proper authorization. Proview officials believe that Apple was illegally deceitful when it bought the rights to the "iPad" trademark through a special purpose company named IP Application Development Limited.

However, an attorney for Proview also said in court on Wednesday that the company is "open" to talk about compensation in return for Apple's use of the iPad name. Reports have claimed that Proview is seeking as much as $2 billion from Apple.




Proview and Apple are involved in a number of lawsuits throughout China, as Proview is attempting to block sales of the iPad and even exportation of the device, which would effectively bring worldwide sales to a halt. Proview has even taken its legal action against Apple to the U.S., filing suit in California over the "iPad" trademark.

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. Now, it's a near-dead company with its ownership of the "IPAD" name its only major asset.

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post #2 of 58
So… which of those two is Apple and which is Proview?

Quote:
…the company is "open" to talk about compensation in return for Apple's use of the iPad name…

"How's nothing sound? Does nothing sound good to you guys? How about we give you nothing instead of taking ALL of your money and forcing you to pay our lawyer's fees for wasting our time with this nonsense?"

And, as always:

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 #3 of 58
The only hope Proview has is that the court is as corrupt as it is.
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post #4 of 58
Quote:
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. Now, it's a near-dead company with its ownership of the "IPAD" name its only major asset.

Shouldn't the sentence read "claimed ownership"? Isn't that what the whole thing is about?
post #5 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


However, an attorney for Proview also said in court on Wednesday that the company is "open" to talk about compensation in return for Apple's use of the iPad name.

Apple is very lucky that Proview doesn't take the same attitude towards Apple that Apple takes towards everyone else.
post #6 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rothgarr View Post

Shouldn't the sentence read "claimed ownership"? Isn't that what the whole thing is about?

Ours (Apple sites) is a cruel race. We enjoy giving them a small sliver of nonexistent hope.

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 #7 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rothgarr View Post

Shouldn't the sentence read "claimed ownership"? Isn't that what the whole thing is about?

To be precise, Proview's claim against Apple is its most valuable asset. The name cannot be sold to anyone at this point, given the Hong Kong injunction, and so their ownership is currently worthless.
post #8 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Apple is very lucky that Proview doesn't take the same attitude towards Apple that Apple takes towards everyone else.

Lucky that Proview wants them to buy the trademark only twice?
post #9 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lochias View Post

Lucky that Proview wants them to buy the trademark only twice?

The Chinese trademark was not bought by Apple. They bought it in several other countries.
post #10 of 58
I think at this point we should just copy-paste our old posts from the other ten threads on this, because no matter how many times the losing side says it, they're still going to be wrong.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

The Chinese trademark was not bought by Apple. They bought it in several other countries.

Says Proview.
post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

The Chinese trademark was not bought by Apple. They bought it in several other countries.

You haven't read the evidence. Proview's lawyers are currently claiming that the boss of Proview China who signed the contract, signed it as the head of Proview Taiwan and not as the head of Proview China.

I will repeat that. Basically although he was the legal boss of the company they are claiming that he wasn't acting as such in this contract. Yeah. right.

This is extortion.
post #13 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

The Chinese trademark was not bought by Apple. They bought it in several other countries.

That is a question of fact that hasn't yet been decided by any fact finder in any court of competent jurisdiction, since no court has actually considered the claims on their merits.
post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

The only hope Proview has is that the court is as corrupt as it is.

Do you know this or are you just yelling with the crowd? It seems to me the owner of Proview is quite honest when he says he hopes that by winning here he hopes to rebuild his company. Clearly Proview is on the brink and has nothing to loose, and whether they in truth have a rightful claim is immaterial. What matters is that they stand to gain BIG.

If it had not been Apple, but another 'the most valuable company in the world', and you (as in everybody) were on the brink of financial ruin, wouldn't you have a go at it? I am not assuming Apple is in the right here, nor that it is in the wrong, and I am not assuming either party is acting out of pre-meditated malice nor from a pre-meditated eye on making a bundle, but if you were to find yourself in a situation where you suddenly realized you could make a couple of billion by digging your heels in, wouldn't you?
post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

The Chinese trademark was not bought by Apple. They bought it in several other countries.

Of which the true interpretation is still pending. Hence the court, geddit?
post #16 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcasey View Post

Says Proview.

And every Chinese court which has issued a decision.
post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Do you know this or are you just yelling with the crowd? It seems to me the owner of Proview is quite honest when he says he hopes that by winning here he hopes to rebuild his company. Clearly Proview is on the brink and has nothing to loose, and whether they in truth have a rightful claim is immaterial. What matters is that they stand to gain BIG.

If it had not been Apple, but another 'the most valuable company in the world', and you (as in everybody) were on the brink of financial ruin, wouldn't you have a go at it? I am not assuming Apple is in the right here, nor that it is in the wrong, and I am not assuming either party is acting out of pre-meditated malice nor from a pre-meditated eye on making a bundle, but if you were to find yourself in a situation where you suddenly realized you could make a couple of billion by digging your heels in, wouldn't you?

I wouldn't because to claim ownership requires repeating endless lies to the courts and media. And in the end I would get nothing but humiliation and huge legal bills.

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post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Switch23 View Post

That is a question of fact that hasn't yet been decided by any fact finder in any court of competent jurisdiction, since no court has actually considered the claims on their merits.

Two Chinese courts have decided exactly that. Apple is now appealing the decision of one of those courts.
post #19 of 58
Probably the most salient point of this whole sad affair...

"...it's the management of Apple that has created value in the iPad name."

Its not the name that has value, its the work and creativity in the thing itself, which these leeches had no part in.
If the court doesn't agree with that, then let them go nourish themselves on a photo of a steak.
post #20 of 58
All in all, Apple should claim this:"We purchased the right to the iPad trademark and we marketed and sold the iPad itself, and have been for 2 and half years now. Where was Proview when we first released the product, and who now would see the name iPad to mean anything other than Apple's tablet."

Furthermore, who would think any product starting with a small case 'i' wasn't made by Apple? Proview should trademark the 'iExtort' name, because that's all their company does anymore.
post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

Furthermore, who would think any product starting with a small case 'i' wasn't made by Apple?

The tens of millions of people who have bought iHome products?
post #22 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lochias View Post

Lucky that Proview wants them to buy the trademark only twice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

The Chinese trademark was not bought by Apple. They bought it in several other countries.

Apple bought the China-registered trademark from Proview Taiwan. (It was Proview Taiwan that had registered the "IPAD" mark IN CHINA.) To reiterate that - anyone doing a search of (mainland) China's trademark database would have seen that it was Proview *Taiwan* that held the mark, and hence that's what Apple purchased.

The MSM paints this as Apple making a big goof, but it wasn't -- this is Proview parent playing fast and loose, trying to put the screws to Apple after Apple legitimately purchased the mark from the entity that had registered it in China, and then added (beaucoup) value to that mark.
post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

I wouldn't because to claim ownership requires repeating endless lies to the courts and media. And in the end I would get nothing but humiliation and huge legal bills.

Assuming you would be lying, that is. Proview may be in the wrong but they may also feel they have a reasonable legal case. Stating their case, obviously skewed to favour themselves, is not the same as lying. Unless you are saying that all lawyers are liars, of course?
post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

The tens of millions of people who have bought iHome products?

and that's why they sold it for $55K. Now of course it turns out to be Apple and the $$$ just lit up their eyes.
post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

And every Chinese court which has issued a decision.

see the pattern?
post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

The Chinese trademark was not bought by Apple. They bought it in several other countries.

from this website, it looks like that the real fight is between apple and proview's creditors now, not between apple and YANG, the proview's previous owner.

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-s...2&MainCatID=11
post #27 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Two Chinese courts have decided exactly that. Apple is now appealing the decision of one of those courts.

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

I'll give you a hint, it starts with 'C'.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology...ew?INTCMP=SRCH
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #28 of 58
I believe that regardless of the legal findings of the Chinese judicial system, this case will be settled politically (and may have already been). The Chinese cannot afford to have thousands of employees idled just so that Proview gets some money. Nor can they feed the already present distrust by Western companies for the opaqueness of the Chinese courts and government.

I'm not saying it is right, but you can bet that this case is ultimately decided in Apple's favor with perhaps some face-saving gesture for Yang. There seems enough confusion about what happened that this makes it even easier to provide such a solution.
post #29 of 58
Meh. Wake me when there's a ruling, or some other significant development.

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post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

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

I'll give you a hint, it starts with 'C'.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology...ew?INTCMP=SRCH

A troll would say it's part of whatever country will win him the argument. Starts with a 'C'... must be Croatia.

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post #31 of 58
This is about shaking down Apple. Proview has no intention of taking the iPad name back. Their motive is to get Apple to cough up some money. And Apple has a lot of money. If Chinese courts side with Proview I predict a nondisclosure settlement for no where near the $2 billion figure being bandied about. This will definitely leave a bad taste in Apple's mouth regarding China. The Chinese communist government may not be adverse to shaking down a company like Apple but they don't want to take it too far either. After all Foxconn is building a factory in Brazil don't you know.
post #32 of 58
This will be an interesting case as it works its way through the Chinese courts. On one hand, China needs a large company like Apple to keep employing its workers and injecting money and capital into its economy. On the other, China is nationalistic as hell and runs a pretty good propaganda machine. It wouldn't be very surprising to see Apple lose, get fined and lectured by Chinese judges, etc.

At this point, I see Apple prevailing and Proview rapidly closing up shop. The more troubling aspect of this are some reports that claim Apple "swindled" Proview out of their trademark by purchasing it through a shell company. Of course, this is a perfectly legal and accepted business practice all around the world, but try telling that to certain sensationalist media outlets.
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post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierrajeff View Post

Apple bought the China-registered trademark from Proview Taiwan. (It was Proview Taiwan that had registered the "IPAD" mark IN CHINA.) To reiterate that - anyone doing a search of (mainland) China's trademark database would have seen that it was Proview *Taiwan* that held the mark, and hence that's what Apple purchased.

I'd love to see a cite for that.
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

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

I'll give you a hint, it starts with 'C'.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology...ew?INTCMP=SRCH

Ownership of the Chinese trademark was never decided by that court.
post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierrajeff View Post

Apple bought the China-registered trademark from Proview Taiwan. (It was Proview Taiwan that had registered the "IPAD" mark IN CHINA.) To reiterate that - anyone doing a search of (mainland) China's trademark database would have seen that it was Proview *Taiwan* that held the mark, and hence that's what Apple purchased.

The MSM paints this as Apple making a big goof, but it wasn't -- this is Proview parent playing fast and loose, trying to put the screws to Apple after Apple legitimately purchased the mark from the entity that had registered it in China, and then added (beaucoup) value to that mark.

This is a bit like Alice In Wonderland. The person (Yang) who sold Apple the trademark, and put in writing that the sale includes the rights for China, is the same person now claiming that Proview's Shenzhen subsidiary (of which he is also the head) did not agree to sell the Chinese rights. He says he was acting not as the head of the subsidiary that actually held the rights, but as the head of the parent company, which didn't hold the rights. Yet he sold those rights that he didn't have, the rights which he says were not held by the company he was acting on behalf of.

Either way the court rules, this guy should go to jail for fraud.
post #36 of 58
I dont understand what the hell the court needs to look at. They just need a tiny bit of common sense...

-Apple was a decently wealthy company when they bought the trademark. The only reason they wanted to buy it with a 'special purpose company' was to get the ACTUAL value for the name, not the 'you are a rich company, so you must pay more' value. Also they most likely didn't want to give away any bit their future plans for the iPad (including the name).

-Proview waited nearly 2 years to take Apple to court with all their BS claims. If this was a legitimate claim, they would have filed it as soon as Apple started producing the first iPad in China. Instead they wait until their company literally has nothing to lose in trying this.

-The court should also look at how Apple conducts all their other purchases. This is the only problem (that I know of) in Apple's asset buying career.

I just don't see how the courts can't see this whole thing for what it is. A SCAM. I hope the courts aren't corrupted and let Proview get away with this. I also hope that if Proview's claims get dismissed, the company and the owner and any other officials who claimed this get the book thrown at them. If the court makes an example of this company it will save the court time, and it will teach other companies not to try this.
post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Two Chinese courts have decided exactly that. Apple is now appealing the decision of one of those courts.

Zither,

Back to your old tricks inventing your own facts to suit your opinions.

To my knowledge there have been at least FOUR Chinese Court cases involving Proview and Apple:: 2 won by Apple and 2 won by Proview.

The HongKong Court FOUND IN FAVOUR OF APPLE's request for an injunction against all the defendants which included Proview's holding company (which is listed in Hongkong and has been declared bankrupt) Proview's Taiwanese company and Proviews two mainland China companies as well as Yang himself, who the Court found controlled all the Proview companies AT ALL MATERIAL TIMES. The Hongkong court issued the following Order, inter alia:

All the Defendants, including Yang Long San, Rowell, are restrained from making any oral or written representation to any other person(s) to the effect that they are, or any one of them is, the proprietor(s) and/or owner(s) of the IPAD trade mark (Registration No. 1590557, registered in Class 9 of the Register of Trade Marks of the People's Republic of China) and the IPAD stylised trade mark (Registration No. 1682310 rgistered in Class 9 of the Register Of Trade Marks of the People's Republic of China) (hereafter referred to as the "Subject Trademarks) and/or have title, rights and/or interests in the Subject Trademarks, and or is in aposition to sell, transfer, assign, otherwise dispose of and/or give good title to the Subject Trademanks

As has been previously pointed out to you HongKong is part of China.

Later a lower provincial Court found in favour of Proview/Yang's claim that they had not sold the iPad trademark to Apple. However in this case Apple were prevented from disclosing as evidence the HongKong Court's findings and evidence. (Subsequently Apple won an Order from the HongKong Court permitting them to disclose and place in evidence the findings and evidence in the HongKong case, which presumably Apple will now be able to use in their Chinese mainland Appeal).

Another lower provincial mainland China Court then found in favour of Proview's application that one retailer in that town be constrained from selling iPads. This Court made NO FINDING OF FACT as to whether Apple or Proview owned the trademark but simply relied on the earlier mainland China case referred to above.

Proview then LOST its case in Shanghai (a much more important jurisdiction) where they made a similar application to ban the sales of iPads which was REFUSED.

So I make that 2-2, not 2-0 as you claim!

Also, there is a perverse inherent contradiction in Proview's case. In mainland China they claim they did not sell the iPad trademark to Apple, but in in the US they claim they DID SELL THE IPAD Trademark to Apple, but were duped into doing so.
post #38 of 58
The Proview creditors (the Chinese government banks) are the ones that tries to get as much money from Apple as possible.

http://wiki.mbalib.com/wiki/%E8%8B%B...A0%87%E9%97%A8
post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Ownership of the Chinese trademark was never decided by that court.

You're parsing words (again), and hanging on to threads. The Hong Kong court said flat out that Yang was an active participant in a conspiracy (the judge's words), and said Proview should have transferred the rights to Apple.
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

The person (Yang) who sold Apple the trademark,

Yang never owned the Chinese trademark. It is owned by Proview Schenzen, which is a subsidiary of a publicly owned company based in Hong Kong.
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