Apple could pay $1.5B to Chinese company in iPad trademark lawsuit

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
A Chinese court rejected Apple's lawsuit accusing Proview Technology of illegally using the iPad name, allowing a counter suit as the Shenzhen company is said to have already registered the trademark in China.



Chinese newspaper The Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Tuesday that because Proview legally trademarked the iPad name for products in a number of countries including China in 2000, Apple's lawsuit was rejected and the tech giant is now open to a previous $1.5B infringement suit, according to Reuters.



Apple introduced its tablet in Jan., 2010, with sales starting in April, just weeks after the company reportedly acquired the trademark for the iPad name from Fujitsu. The Japanese electronics maker owned the iPad moniker from 2003, using it for Windows CE-based handheld devices.



In 2006, Proview Electronics (Taiwan) agreed to sell the iPad trademark to a company called IP Application Development for $55,000, without realizing that the company was connected to Apple. Proview chairman Yang Rongshan claimed the deal did not include the Chinese rights to the trademark, though Apple argued otherwise.



With Apple's suit rejected, Proview can now proceed with its own legal action regarding the trademark, which was first reported in October. The Shenzhen company is asking for 10 billion yuan (approximately $1.5 billion) in compensation from Apple for copyright infringement.



The ruling by Intermediate People's Court of Shenzhen is yet another roadblock in Apple's attempts to gain a foothold in what some consider to be the company's most important emerging market. Recent issues include fake Apple retail stores in western China and supply chain pollution concerns.



The latest news comes just weeks before Apple is said to be releasing the iPhone 4S in the country, which is expected to launch on partner carrier China Unicom within the month. Recently, the iPhone surpassed Nokia as the leading smartphone brand in the country, riding on booming 3G adoption rates and overall brand popularity.



Apple's Chinese iPad 2 webpage | Source: Apple



In October's quarter four investor conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook called China "an area of enormous opportunity," and noted he has never seen a country with as many people rising into the middle class aspiring to buy products his company makes.



The Mac maker is seen as the most desirable PC brand in China, with the iPad leading the region's tablet market with a 65 percent share.

«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    $1.5B for a damn product name?
  • Reply 2 of 60
    When did they start selling the iPad in China?
  • Reply 3 of 60
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    OK, Proview does look to have legit trademarks for iPad in various countries starting in 2000. But that's not enough. I want to know what products they were actively selling under those names over the last decade for each of those countries. These aren't patents you can sit on, if you don't use a trademark you can lose it.



    In the end Apple won't be paying them anywhere close to $1.5 billion. There is always the option of changing the name like Apple did with AirPort to AirMac in Japan.
  • Reply 4 of 60
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,855member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    $1.5B for a damn product name?



    That's just sensationalism that the media indulges in to grab eyeballs. Their chances of ultimately collecting that amount lie somewhere between zilch and squat.
  • Reply 5 of 60
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tallest skil View Post


    when did they start selling the ipad in china?



    06-may-2011.
  • Reply 6 of 60
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    There is always the option of changing the name like Apple did with AirPort to AirMac in Japan.



    I'm just curious. What is the AirPort name used for in Japan, since somebody else must have had the rights for it?
  • Reply 7 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    06-may-2011.



    1. Then these guys had their chance to file for name rights. They should have done it immediately.



    And, obviously, it almost 100% proves their case is just for the money because the guy said, "WE NEED THE MONEY."



    2. Why did your quote decapitalize everything?
  • Reply 8 of 60
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    I'm just curious. What is the AirPort name used for in Japan, since somebody else must have had the rights for it?



    A wireless router so it's a legit complaint by I-O Data.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    2. Why did your quote decapitalize everything?



    vBulletin does that for some inconsistent reason. Maybe because all the letters I wrote were 'MAY" in caps so it have some feature to remove all caps.



    Also, when posting a link I like to indent and then use a bullet ? or arrows » but sometimes vBulletin will add in an asterisk * after it for no reason. I have all these shortcuts setup with Textspander to make formatting here simple, but having to edit for those silly additions is annoying.
  • Reply 9 of 60
    Even though China is a huge market, Apple should just stop selling "i" everything there. It should also stop manufacturing in China also. If the Chinese don't want to play fair then they shouldn't get to play at all.
  • Reply 10 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jbcaro View Post


    Even though China is a huge market, Apple should just stop selling "i" everything there. It should also stop manufacturing in China also. If the Chinese don't want to play fair then they shouldn't get to play at all.



    That's not how it works.
  • Reply 11 of 60
    "The Shenzhen company is asking for 10 billion yuan (approximately $1.5 billion) in compensation from Apple for copyright infringement"? in a trademark lawsuit?



    I don't know Chinese copyright or trademark law, but in the US, they're very, very different legal concepts.
  • Reply 12 of 60
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
  • Reply 13 of 60
    Yeah, right. Like China has shown so much respect for intellectual property in the past.
  • Reply 14 of 60
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,167member
    Quote:

    In 2006, Proview Electronics (Taiwan) agreed to sell the iPad trademark to a company called IP Application Development for $55,000, without realizing that the company was connected to Apple. Proview chairman Yang Rongshan claimed the deal did not include the Chinese rights to the trademark, though Apple argued otherwise.



    I find this interesting. How come something important like this was overlooked?! I know these types of transactions are tens of pages long but how the hell did they miss something like "including rights in China"?! Maybe it is time Apple look for another IP lawyers in Taiwan and China.
  • Reply 15 of 60
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,767member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    'In 2006, Proview Electronics (Taiwan) agreed to sell the iPad trademark to a company called IP Application Development for $55,000, without realizing that the company was connected to Apple. Proview chairman Yang Rongshan claimed the deal did not include the Chinese rights to the trademark, though Apple argued otherwise'.



    I find this interesting. How come something important like this was overlooked?! I know these types of transactions are tens of pages long but how the hell did they miss something like "including rights in China"?! Maybe it is time Apple look for another IP lawyers in Taiwan and China.



    Where did you find the quote in your post?



    All the best.



    EDIT - Okay, got it! \
  • Reply 16 of 60
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post


    Where did you find the quote in your post?



    All the best.



    There's additional information here:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/4e10735e-e...#axzz1flqYjpi2
  • Reply 17 of 60
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    OK, Proview does look to have legit trademarks for iPad in various countries starting in 2000. But that's not enough. I want to know what products they were actively selling under those names over the last decade for each of those countries. These aren't patents you can sit on, if you don't use a trademark you can lose it.



    In the U.S., that's true. I don't know if it's true in China. China's laws are, well, different. And, to a large extent, the courts tend to ignore them when they feel like it.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    In the end Apple won't be paying them anywhere close to $1.5 billion. There is always the option of changing the name like Apple did with AirPort to AirMac in Japan.



    Apple will appeal it.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    I find this interesting. How come something important like this was overlooked?! I know these types of transactions are tens of pages long but how the hell did they miss something like "including rights in China"?! Maybe it is time Apple look for another IP lawyers in Taiwan and China.



    I think there's more involved than that. The original article had this company saying that they sold the 'global' rights to this shell company. Last time I checked, China was still on the globe - although they tend to think otherwise at times. Let's wait to see what happens on appeal.



    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/4e10735e-e...#axzz1flqYjpi2

    Quote:

    According to Mr Yang, Proview Electronics (Taiwan) agreed in 2006 to sell the “global trademark” for the IPAD name to a US-registered company called IP Application Development (IPAD) for £35,000 ($55,104). Proview did not at the time suspect the company had any link with Apple.



  • Reply 18 of 60
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    We are already chinese here in this country. We just don't know it yet. If you disagree then go into any walmart or best buy and look at where the product is made. Uh huh, see we are becoming chinese. Next thing you will see is the chinese wanting to cash in on all the money they have lent us. We will have to pay them in corporations. Here you want to cash in for that 100 billion debt. Well here you go we can pay you off with Gateway computers.
  • Reply 19 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post




    In the end Apple won't be paying them anywhere close to $1.5 billion. There is always the option of changing the name like Apple did with AirPort to AirMac in Japan.



    yep, change the name to something like c-Pad (for China of course) and pay nothing but the outstanding breach.



    If Apple paid $100M it would be too much.
  • Reply 20 of 60
    irelandireland Posts: 17,794member
    Next up; iTV to sue Apple.
Sign In or Register to comment.