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Proview rejects Apple's $16M offer for 'iPad' trademark - report

post #1 of 99
Thread Starter 
Apple offered Proview 100 million yuan, or $16 million U.S., to settle their ongoing dispute over ownership of the "iPad" name, but Proview reportedly rejected the offer.

Proview rejected the offer because officials at the company seek $400 million U.S. for the rights to the iPad name, according to a report in China's Beijing Times, summarized by The Next Web. Proview apparently seeks that much money to appease its creditors, eight of which are Chinese banks.

One profile of Proview published in February portrayed the company as a nearly dead operation where officials are banking in on their trademark dispute with Apple. At its peak, the company employed 18,000 people and sold a stripped-down PC it called the Internet Personal Access Device, or iPAD.

Though the latest reports suggest there remains a great disparity between what Proview wants and what Apple is willing to pay, the $400 million sought by Proview is much less than earlier reports, which suggested the company was seeking $2 billion in damages from Apple.

Proview's only chance for a payout is in China, as the company's attempted lawsuit against Apple in California was tossed out this week by a Santa Clara County judge.

Proview


Earlier this week, Proview's attorney publicly said that his company and Apple have discussed a compensation package to settle their dispute out of court. He revealed that Apple proposed a settlement sum, but no specific amount was detailed.

Proview's Shenzhen-based operation has accused Apple of acting "with oppression, fraud and/or malice," when it used a proxy company, U.K.-based IP Application Development, Ltd., to buy the rights to the "IPAD" name. Those rights were purchased from a Taiwanese affiliate in 2009 for a reported 35,000 British pounds, or $55,000.

The company has argued that Apple acted fraudulently to acquire the iPad trademark, and that the purchase is void because Proview Shenzhen didn't authorize its affiliate to sell the trademark. For its part, Apple maintains that it legally purchased the rights to the Chinese "iPad" trademark, but Proview refuses to uphold its end of the bargain.
post #2 of 99

Good. Screw 'em. Apple never should have offered that nonsense.

 

Offer them $55,000 next. When they reject it, keep stringing the trial along until they go bankrupt and can't negotiate.

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post #3 of 99
I hope that Apple save that 100-400 million in negotiations and change to a Chinese name instead.
post #4 of 99

"IPAD" was worthless until Apple obtained the trademark. Proview, accept it because there is no way in hell you're gonna get anything better.
 

post #5 of 99

This was never going anywhere.

post #6 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Good. Screw 'em. Apple never should have offered that nonsense.

Offer them $55,000 next. When they reject it, keep stringing the trial along until they go bankrupt and can't negotiate.

LOL. I like the idea of insulting them with an even lower offer, just to piss them off.

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post #7 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Good. Screw 'em. Apple never should have offered that nonsense.

 

who says they did? Proview. Which means that it could be total bunk and Apple made no such offer. Or any offer other than "give us what we already bought and have proof was included and we will end our lawsuits against you"

 

As for the $400 million, Apple didn't create this mess it's not their job to fix it. Frankly I think if China isn't willing to back up Apple, who says they have proof of their claims in very clear writing from Proview's executives, then it's time to pull the iPad from China. Pull selling it, pull making it there. Why should Apple risk that the government might actually consider the whole export ban to protect one of their countries companies and it's IP (that they took money for and won't turn off). Remove the risk by getting out of China

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post #8 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Good. Screw 'em. Apple never should have offered that nonsense.

 

Offer them $55,000 next. When they reject it, keep stringing the trial along until they go bankrupt and can't negotiate.

 

 

The trial is over.

post #9 of 99

Proview view should get nothing.

 

All their cases should be thrown out.

 

Let the crooked Chinese legal system decide on their BS case and then if necessary change the name in China.

post #10 of 99

What would happen if Apple let Proview keep the iPad name in China but set up stores outside of China that provided iPads to people that ended up smuggling the iPads into China.  Sales would still occur, albeit at lower volumes but the internal demand in China might force Proview to take the last offer.

post #11 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post
The trial is over.

 

So what's this business in Hong Kong coming up?

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #12 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

 

who says they did? Proview. Which means that it could be total bunk and Apple made no such offer. Or any offer other than "give us what we already bought and have proof was included and we will end our lawsuits against you"

 

As for the $400 million, Apple didn't create this mess it's not their job to fix it. Frankly I think if China isn't willing to back up Apple, who says they have proof of their claims in very clear writing from Proview's executives, then it's time to pull the iPad from China. Pull selling it, pull making it there. Why should Apple risk that the government might actually consider the whole export ban to protect one of their countries companies and it's IP (that they took money for and won't turn off). Remove the risk by getting out of China

This is why I have maintained that there will be a brokered solution with the Chinese government leaning pretty hard on Proview to get this out of the news.

 

All Apple and Foxconn need to do it leak that they are scouting potential new factory location in Thailand or India or some other country that would be very happy to have that level of foreign investment.

post #13 of 99

Well Apple, if you were willing to offer 16 million dollars to Proview, I say forward that check to your legal department and say to those Apple lawyers regarding Proview, "Bury Them!"

/

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post #14 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

"IPAD" was worthless until Apple obtained the trademark. Proview, accept it because there is no way in hell you're gonna get anything better.
 

 

Apple used a proxy for the obvious reason that anyone would know an "i" trademark would be worth a lot more to Apple than any other company and raise the asking price. When the value of the trademark depends on the identity of the buyer and the identity is concealed, is that a fair deal?

post #15 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

 

Apple used a proxy for the obvious reason that anyone would know an "i" trademark would be worth a lot more to Apple than any other company and raise the asking price. When the value of the trademark depends on the identity of the buyer and the identity is concealed, is that a fair deal?

I tend to agree- that was very sneaky indeed.  Not sure if it's illegal, but definitely shady.   

post #16 of 99

"The company has argued that Apple acted fraudulently to acquire the iPad trademark, "

 

That is so stupid... oh sure, Apple really acted fraudulently, more like your company is acting fraudulently.  

 

 

post #17 of 99

Waiting for bankruptcy does not end the issue. Creditors may see this as a way to get something out of nothing, even something large, and the rights may be sold to someone else with the resources to keep fighting Apple. This may be why Apple made an offer.

 

If Apple has indeed made an offer (and a non-trivial one at that), doesn't this suggest the case is not so open and shut, black and white or easy to put to rest?

post #18 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by nofear1az View Post

"The company has argued that Apple acted fraudulently to acquire the iPad trademark, "

 

That is so stupid... oh sure, Apple really acted fraudulently, more like your company is acting fraudulently.  

 

 

 

 

I'll hazard a guess that the "I'm not a poopy-pants, you're a poopy-pants" style argument probably won't work even in a Chinese court of law.

post #19 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

 

Apple used a proxy for the obvious reason that anyone would know an "i" trademark would be worth a lot more to Apple than any other company and raise the asking price. When the value of the trademark depends on the identity of the buyer and the identity is concealed, is that a fair deal?

 

Yes. Don't forget that part of Apple's success relies on secrecy. How do they keep the name iPad secret without going through a proxy? The only reason that Proview would know the iPad name would be worth more to Apple is if they knew of Apple's plans. But doesn't Apple have the right to keep that secret?

 

One could also ask is it fair to ask more for the same product just because you know the buyer has more money?

post #20 of 99

In this case there are high level chinese  politicians involved with Proview, is a political case and has to be handled like that.

post #21 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnoel View Post

I tend to agree- that was very sneaky indeed.  Not sure if it's illegal, but definitely shady.   


Perfectly legal. If Apple had gone in as "Apple", proview would have demanded $2Billion. Is that fair?

 

Walt Disney did it before he build Disney World. Did Orlando or the residents sue him for $400MM dollars.

post #22 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

 

Yes. Don't forget that part of Apple's success relies on secrecy. How do they keep the name iPad secret without going through a proxy? The only reason that Proview would know the iPad name would be worth more to Apple is if they knew of Apple's plans. But doesn't Apple have the right to keep that secret?

 

One could also ask is it fair to ask more for the same product just because you know the buyer has more money?

The name should have inherent value in and of itself, value which Apple built and added through many factors besides just the name. In this case, I would argue they aren't even the same trademark. One is an all caps acronym; the other uses mixed caps to convey a relation to the buyer and an existing product family.

 

If they wanted more for that particular combination of letters, they should have had the vision to understand how it could be used. It isn't fair to expect Apple to reveal the name and identity of their new product just so some menial company can bleed them.

post #23 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnoel View Post
I tend to agree- that was very sneaky indeed.  Not sure if it's illegal, but definitely shady.   

 

No, there's absolutely nothing shady or illegal about that at all. The shady and illegal part comes when companies would have charged Apple MORE simply because they know it's Apple.


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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #24 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by advill View Post

In this case there are high level chinese  politicians involved with Proview, is a political case and has to be handled like that.

I know Apple's future largely depends on China, from a fiscal growth and valuation point of view at least. Still, I hope this doesn't set any new precedent and I also hope that Apple doesn't get pushed around too much by China. I like to hope that they've changed enough over there to want treatment of businesses to continue their economic growth. I am probably naive though.

post #25 of 99

Would have been a lot cheaper, and less headache for Apple to have paid the additional $10 million dollars when the transfer mistake was first discovered.

post #26 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Good. Screw 'em. Apple never should have offered that nonsense.

Offer them $55,000 next. When they reject it, keep stringing the trial along until they go bankrupt and can't negotiate.

Bankruptcy won't happen. The creditors can keep paying the legal bills until the matter is settled. Unless the creditors decide that it's not worth pursuing, this could go on for a long time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

who says they did? Proview. Which means that it could be total bunk and Apple made no such offer. Or any offer other than "give us what we already bought and have proof was included and we will end our lawsuits against you"

As for the $400 million, Apple didn't create this mess it's not their job to fix it. Frankly I think if China isn't willing to back up Apple, who says they have proof of their claims in very clear writing from Proview's executives, then it's time to pull the iPad from China. Pull selling it, pull making it there. Why should Apple risk that the government might actually consider the whole export ban to protect one of their countries companies and it's IP (that they took money for and won't turn off). Remove the risk by getting out of China

Apple's not going to get out of China. What's the point of even suggesting something so ridiculous?

As for the first paragraph, you are correct. Proview's lawyers have proven to be liars already. Several weeks ago, they claimed that they were already having settlement talks with Apple. This week, they claimed that Apple had refused to talk with them previously and had just started talking. Nothing they say can be believed.

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


The trial is over.

Which trial? The one in CA where the judge said that he was going to honor Proview and Apple's agreement that the matter should be settled in Hong Kong or the Hong Kong trial where they judge said that Proview was committing criminal conspiracy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Well Apple, if you were willing to offer 16 million dollars to Proview, I say forward that check to your legal department and say to those Apple lawyers regarding Proview, "Bury Them!"
/
/
/

If the number is true (which I doubt), that's where it undoubtedly came from. Apple figured what it was going to cost them in legal expenses, depositions, testimony of key executives, etc and came up with a figure of $16 M. It is not uncommon to offer something like that to settle a case like this. If Proview doesn't agree, Apple will fight it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

Apple used a proxy for the obvious reason that anyone would know an "i" trademark would be worth a lot more to Apple than any other company and raise the asking price. When the value of the trademark depends on the identity of the buyer and the identity is concealed, is that a fair deal?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnoel View Post

I tend to agree- that was very sneaky indeed.  Not sure if it's illegal, but definitely shady.   

If the two you you don't have any idea how business operates, I'd suggest learning before making yourself look foolish.

This happens all the time and is 100% legal (unless the party were to intentionally lie about a material thing. For example, if Proview had asked if IPAD was buying it for Apple and IPAD said they were not, that could void the contract). Other than that, this is common practice and 100% legal everywhere that I know of (I'm sure about the US and the UK and Taiwan).

Look up how Disney acquired the land for Disneyworld.
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post #27 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Perfectly legal. If Apple had gone in as "Apple", proview would have demanded $2Billion. Is that fair?

 

Walt Disney did it before he build Disney World. Did Orlando or the residents sue him for $400MM dollars.

 

I'm sure they may indeed have if residents sold property under the condition that the land would not be used to build a massive theme park. I was under the impression that part of Proview's complaint is that negotiations indicated that the transfer of the trademark would be 'non-competing'.

post #28 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by e_veritas View Post

Would have been a lot cheaper, and less headache for Apple to have paid the additional $10 million dollars when the transfer mistake was first discovered.

 

Which is probably what Proview figured when they "discovered" this "mistake" by their subsidiary.  More likely the reality is that, realizing the buyer was Apple instead of some nobody, they dreamed up this scenario of the subsidiary having the rights without the authority to do so.

post #29 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

 

Apple used a proxy for the obvious reason that anyone would know an "i" trademark would be worth a lot more to Apple than any other company and raise the asking price. When the value of the trademark depends on the identity of the buyer and the identity is concealed, is that a fair deal?

If it's fair for a company to charge more to Apple just because it's Apple, then it has to be fair for Apple to conceal its identity.

 

Proview squeezed every dollar it thought it could out of its sale of the trademark.  Proview accepted the price.  That set the value of the trademark at the time of sale.  Maybe Proview should have researched the buyer more.  Maybe Proview should have negotiated for a higher selling price.  Maybe this whole episode is just a symptom of Proview's poor management.  The company is in bankruptcy.  And Proview's bankruptcy has nothing to do with Apple or this trademark.

post #30 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by e_veritas View Post

 

I'm sure they may indeed have if residents sold property under the condition that the land would not be used to build a massive theme park. I was under the impression that part of Proview's complaint is that negotiations indicated that the transfer of the trademark would be 'non-competing'.

I believe trademarks are valid in types of industries so the trademark  is in the electronics, computers industries, why would anyone need to buy it if they don't wont compete in the same industry? Besides, Proview doesn't have and products or services anymore so there's no competition.

post #31 of 99

Totally agree. If I were Chinese and were looking a products with "English-Like" names it would more than likely be culturally confusing, etc. So maybe I work with a Chinese Ad firm to research and create all Chinese names for my product line (line up the trademarks in advance, etc. get them legally licensed, etc.) Sure it would be less expensive and a better fit. I bet you could even have some very cool ideographics(characters) designed for each name element.

post #32 of 99

Somehow, I feel that Apple can invent a new name, register it everywhere, and ditch the iPad name. It will probably cost almost nothing.

 

I hate to cave into Proviews' outrageous demands. $16 is a fair price. If they don't want it, too bad. We move on.

post #33 of 99
Seems like it's time for Apple to just take their chances in court. There should be no problems with the Hong Kong courts.
post #34 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Good. Screw 'em. Apple never should have offered that nonsense.

 

Offer them $55,000 next. When they reject it, keep stringing the trial along until they go bankrupt and can't negotiate.

 

Or just give them coupons good for $50 off future iPad purchases.

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post #35 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post
The trial is over.

 

So what's this business in Hong Kong coming up?

 

 

Ask J-Rag.

post #36 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

 

If Apple has indeed made an offer (and a non-trivial one at that), doesn't this suggest the case is not so open and shut, black and white or easy to put to rest?

 

Yes.

post #37 of 99

I'm wondering why Proview doesn't offer the IPAD trademark for any iPad-clone makers and try to sell its right in China?
...if they were right about still having the trademark for China. It seems nobody believes they could win the case, not even the clone makers.

post #38 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by advill View Post

In this case there are high level chinese  politicians involved with Proview, is a political case and has to be handled like that.

Agreed, but if american companies start to pay "hostage" fees to chinese politicians there can be no end to it.  I think wal-mart or some other american company was recently accused of paying bribes to mexican local officials and is being prosecuted in US courts [here for those interested- http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/business/at-wal-mart-in-mexico-a-bribe-inquiry-silenced.html?pagewanted=all ]

 

If it is a political thing then the politicians need to be involved.  Proview has no other lifelines left, if some politician is underwater I suppose that could keep the case alive to a point, I'm guessing that the pol is based in the province where the court favorable to preview issued the injunction, he/she may not have national pull.

post #39 of 99
Quote:

Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

 

If Apple has indeed made an offer (and a non-trivial one at that), doesn't this suggest the case is not so open and shut, black and white or easy to put to rest?

 

 

Yes.

 

No.  The only thing the offer suggests is that Apple is willing to pay $16M to end this.

post #40 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBillyGoatGruff View Post
No.  The only thing the offer suggests is that Apple is willing to pay $16M to end this.

 

Exactly. This was the financial equivalent of "shut up and go away". You'd throw the bagpipes player on the bus a few singles to get him to shut up, too.

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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