Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

Summary: Apple is facing another lawsuit from Proview Technology's Shenzen branch, who are suing under patent infringement for around $38 million.

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TOPICS: Apple
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Apple has already collected a small back catalogue of patent lawsuits over the last few years. Some it has handled successfully and some less so, like their ongoing battle with Proview over the 'iPad' trademark.

Proview Technology is suing Apple over the rights to the 'iPad' brand within China's borders, seeking around $38 million for "damages" and, perhaps most unusually, an apology from Apple.

Apple and Proview have been engaged in a lengthy legal back and forth over the 'iPad' trademark for years.

Proview International Holdings, of which the Shenzen branch is a subsidiary, registered the 'iPad' trademark in Taiwan way back in 2001. The trademark was then sold on to IP Application Development back in 2006 for $55,000. Apple then got the rights from them in 2010, but as IP Application Development's ties to Apple came to light, Proview took action against the company.

Proview began suing them for copyright infringement in 2010 for $1.6 billion, and when Apple counter-sued the company last year, it lost the case.

According to Proview lawyer Xie Xianghui, Apple had only bought the rights to use the trademark in Taiwan previously, so the Shenzen company does not recognise their right to sell their products under the 'iPad' name.

Proview Shenzen's chairman, Yang Rongshan, stated in 2010 that: "It is arrogant of Apple to just ignore our rights and go ahead selling the iPad in this market," but he also admitted that a motivator was the companies financial state. "We are in big financial trouble and the trademarks are a valuable asset."

Apple is still appealing Proview's first lawsuit over copyright infringement. But after failing to counter-sue the company and facing yet another court battle over the trademark, it is starting to look like this battle is one that Apple can't easily win.

Although it has been argued before that China's patent law is biased -- of course, towards Chinese companies -- that may be an obstacle Apple can't overcome. But the Cupertino giant can at least take some solace over the success the iPhone 4S has seen so far in the region.

Image source: CNET.

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Topic: Apple

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32 comments
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  • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

    couldn't have happened to a more deserving company.
    tatiGmail
    • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

      @tatiGmail
      +1
      toddybottom_z
    • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

      @tatiGmail Great to hear from Samsung's President.
      johnsuarez10
    • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

      @tatiGmail
      agreed. after ripping off people in USA, apple steals from the Chinese.
      The Linux Geek
      • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

        @The Linux Geek -

        Aren't you the same person who prides Foxconn? Or was that "Linux Geek", assuming you two aren't the same person...

        I wonder how Apple is ripping off Foxconn, too...
        HypnoToad72
      • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

        @The Linux Geek

        Wait, WHAT?

        You're giving Linux Geeks a bad name.
        dave95.
  • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

    I hope (Cr) Apple gets hammered by lawsuits, and eventually goes down in flames.
    Stephen-B
    • Rick_Kl: really? You used to love Apple

      @Rick_Kl
      What happened? This change in your attitude towards Apple happened at the same time you changed your account name from Rick_Kl to Stephen-B. Did you get fired from Apple?
      toddybottom_z
      • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

        @NZ
        Good one NZ
        anono
    • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

      @Stephen-B Great idea! Let's see how well the economy is going to fare when its most valuable company goes down in flames.
      themarty
      • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

        @themarty Microsoft is more than capable of filling that void.
        Stephen-B
      • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

        @Stephen-B What is it waiting for?
        themarty
      • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

        @Stephen-B Pfffft. Microsoft should just change its name officially to "Alsoran".
        I12BPhil
      • Actually, when it comes to computing that matters, Microsoft is many times

        more valuable than Apple.

        If Apple and all of its iStuff where to disappear from the planet, the effect would be felt, but it would be minimal.

        If Microsoft and all of it's software and products were to all disappear, the effect would be catastrophic and felt around the world and in all industries and all economies.

        Apple might have a bigger market cap, but it's products/software are not really "game changers".
        adornoe
      • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

        @adornoe
        Considering the fact that from its very first version of Windows and WMP (Video for Windows), all the way to Win7 and Vista with Aero, MS has unabashedly copied Apple's code and UI slavishly and unabashedly, I think you grossly underestimate the effect just to MS of the disappearance of Apple.
        But let's hear your misinformed (as usual) counter, filled with right wing conspiracy theories and misstatements of fact.

        And not recognizing the iPod, iPhone, and iPad as game changers is just absurd.
        .DeusExMachina.
  • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

    They really should have to show that they have actually used the name... Of course it is so old that I doubt it is squatting as none of the idevices were around then... Well, maybe Compaq's was there.
    slickjim
  • Important pieces of information

    The trademark was then sold on to IP Application Development back in 2006 for $55,000. [b]Apple then got the rights from them in 2010, but as IP Application Development???s ties to Apple came to light, Proview took action against the company.[/b]
    ???It is arrogant of Apple to just ignore our rights and go ahead selling the iPad in this market,??? but he also admitted that a [b]motivator was the companies financial state. ???We are in big financial trouble and the trademarks are a valuable asset.???[/b]

    Or to simplify it Apple paid for a license, but now they (Proview Technology) want to be paid again for the same thing. I can see the ihaters rejoicing this, you know who you are, but logically this stinks.
    Joel-r
    • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

      @Joel-r Apple paid a company that didn't have the rights to sell and they should go back after that company to get their 38 Million for misrepresenting themselves.
      slickjim
      • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

        @Peter Perry they sold the trademark for $55,000 back in 2006. The company that purchased it , licensed it to Apple. <br><b>The trademark was then sold on to IP Application Development back in 2006 for $55,000.</b>. Then Proview Technology decided they should get paid for the trademark twice. once from Application Development for $55,000, and whatever they can gouge Apple for.

        It would be like me selling you an iPad, only to have Apple sue you for the retail price of a new one. Proview Technology lost its claim the moment they sold the Trademark for $55,000
        Joel-r
      • RE: Apple accused of iPad patent infringement in China (again)

        @Peter Perry

        Try Hooked on Phonics. I hear it does wonders.
        .DeusExMachina.