iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

Summary: Apple's trademark dispute is poised to escalate, as Proview seeks a ban on imports and exports of iPad's from Chinese customs.

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TOPICS: iPad, Mobility, China
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The Proview vs. Apple trademark clash has escalated once more, with Proview making a request to Chinese customs to ban the imports and exports on Apple iPad 2 tablets.

Yesterday, it was reported that local authorities were seizing the tablets from retail stores in China, and that store-owners were hiding their stock to avoid confiscation.

Proview International Holdings is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Apple over the 'iPad' trademark, and is taking steps to block sales on the Chinese mainland.

A lawyer representing Proview, Roger Xie, said: "We are now working on a request to China customs to ban and seize all the import and export of the iPad products that have violated the trademark."

Although this might seem like a bad situation for Apple, it is important to remember that China customs may decide against such drastic action because of Apple's global profile.

Either way, the pressure is on Apple to reach a settlement. Foxconn Technology Group currently produces the iPad in China, and a ban on exports would be disastrous for Apple.

However, Beijing-based lawyer Stan Abrams is urging consumers not to panic. He explained that, "all the steps taken thus far, including a future customs action if it comes to that, are par for the course when it comes to trademark infringement."

He also speculated that, even if Proview does choose to seize Apple shipments, they might not have "the financial wherewithal to put up the bond for a seizure."

Proview has previously been open about its financial troubles, with chairman Yang Rongshang admitting in 2010 that it is "in big financial trouble and the trademarks are a valuable asset."

The company has already filed trademark infringement complaints with at least 20 local government agencies to enforce the removal of iPad's from stores.

Image source: Hebei Youth Daily/ifeng.com.

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Topics: iPad, Mobility, China

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  • RE: iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

    Ouch! That right there would hurt!
    slickjim
    • RE: iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

      @Peter Perry
      +1
      toddbottom
    • Isn't it interesting this happens shortly after Apple caves to

      accusations about the oh-so-horrible working conditions at Foxconn and calls for an investigation.
      baggins_z
    • RE: iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

      @Peter Perry
      Laughable really....but lets assume it plays out that way then all Apple will do is move manufacturing of the iPad to Foxconns Brazil plant so China authorities wil know they have actually lost out. In China all Apple will do is remove the iPad name from all marketting and documentation and still sell it. The Apple logo is trademarked and everyon eknows what it is because it will stillbe caled an IPad everywhere else. Proview will cave because they don't actually have a product called an iPad and settle or drop charges completely.
      global.philosopher
  • Ironic

    That the litigious Apple could be basically be largely out of business if Proview succeeds because Apple stole (see what I did there) Proview's trademark. Of course it won't come to that. Apple will pay millions, perhaps billions to settle if Proview has a strong enough hand.

    By the way, infringement isn't theft, RIAA, MPAA...
    wolf_z
    • RE: iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

      @wolf_z

      Now only if Apple had paid Proview to use the trademark...oh wait...
      jmiller1978
      • RE: iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

        @jmiller1978
        That will be up to a judge to determine.

        Wait, you aren't just taking Apple's word on this one, are you? When someone being charged with murder and they say they didn't do it, do you also just believe them?

        Apple has a lot of incentive to lie about this. A few billion reasons.
        toddbottom
      • RE: iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

        @NonZealot

        "When someone being charged with murder and they say they didn't do it, do you also just believe them?"

        Here in America, the justice system works on the principle of 'presumption of innocence.' Look it up.
        msalzberg
      • RE: iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

        @toddbottom

        Lie about it? How is that going to help in court? Proview keeps asking for more and more. First Apple pays them to use it then Proview wants a settlement and an apology. They keep drawing the line in the sand to see how far they can squeeze them.
        jmiller1978
      • RE: iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

        @jmiller1978
        First, thank you for using my name. I will not respond to scum that won't address me by my name.

        Second, you keep repeating exactly what Apple is telling you. Of course Apple is going to proclaim its innocence just like an accused murderer will proclaim their innocence, even if they did it. Some people of lesser intelligence might respond with claptrap about "presumption of innocence" but that has nothing to do with defendants lying. Of course the court has to begin any trial presuming that the defendant is innocent but that doesn't mean that the defendant isn't lying and it doesn't mean that the defendant can't eventually found to be guilty.

        Is Apple lying about this? Could be. Does a court of law have to presume that Apple is innocent? Yes. Doesn't change any facts though. Apple could be lying. I wouldn't repeat what Apple states in their defense as being factual or even relevant. Of course Apple thinks they are innocent. Doesn't mean they aren't lying. Just like a murderer.
        toddbottom
      • RE: iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

        @toddbottom<br><br>Its a curious lawsuit, Apple claims it bought the global trademark and yet Proview contends that doesn't include China (because it filed trademarks in China through a subsiduary), should be a simple enough check to look at what the contract actually says.

        This could look very embarrassing for a lawyer that drew up the original contracts
        the.nameless.drifter
      • @the.nameless.drifter

        I totally agree. The courts will decide this one. For anyone to simply believe Apple because they say they bought the rights to iPad in China is very naive and reeks of Apple fanboism.

        It might be more accurate to state that Apple BELIEVES they purchased the rights to the name (although there is still the possibility that Apple is lying outright about this). Apple BELIEVING they purchased the name doesn't mean they did in which case Proview is absolutely and totally in the right to sue Apple.

        A court will decide this one and whatever judgement the court issues is the only thing that determines who was right and who was wrong. I'll make a prediction right now though. If the court sides with Apple, the Apple fanbois will proclaim that this proves Apple was right all along. If the court sides with Proview, the Apple fanbois will whine that it wasn't fair, that Proview was wrong, that Apple was right, and that the court's judgement was flawed. Bookmark this post and if I'm wrong, I'll admit to it. I'm not wrong about this though.
        toddbottom
      • RE: iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

        @msalzberg

        "Here in America, the justice system works on the principle of 'presumption of innocence.' Look it up."

        But that doesn't mean the accused can go free without cross-examination.
        Samic
      • RE: iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

        @jmiller1978
        Not true. Apple paid for use of the trademark in Taiwan but not Mainland China. They're two seperate legal system and entity.
        Unless you're trying to argue Taiwan is a part of China (please don't. Just ask the UN and you'll know why.), you're wrong.
        Samic
      • RE: iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

        @toddbottom<br><br>I think its also worth noting that Apple did this through a third party so its quite possible that the third party firm was sloppy when buying the rights from Proview<br><br>I can see Apple cutting a check to make this one go away, unless they are certain they can win and you can't be certain of anything in China, unless you're well connected with the communist party
        the.nameless.drifter
      • RE: iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

        @jmiller1978 I would be surprised if they hadn't. It's very stupid for a company to lie on something that can't be verified and Apple is not a stupid company.
        themarty
      • @Toddbottom

        Because, of course, we all know that a judge in a Communist country is totally above reproach. Especially when dealing with a company, who, under heat from clueless Americans, is now calling for investigations of Foxconn.
        baggins_z
      • Thanks baggins

        " If the court sides with Apple, the Apple fanbois will proclaim that this proves Apple was right all along. If the court sides with Proview, the Apple fanbois will whine that it wasn't fair, that Proview was wrong, that Apple was right, and that the court's judgement was flawed. "

        My prediction has already been shown to be true and the judgement hasn't even been handed down yet. I love being right.
        toddbottom
      • RE: iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

        @samic

        Who in their right mind considers Taiwan part of China?

        @toddbottom

        Not saying Apple is lying or not just stating that it seems that now that Proview seems to be in the courts favor, they keeping asking for more to see how much blood they can squeeze from the rock.

        And people have to realize that an injunction against Apple would be counter-intuitive as it would likely hurt the Chinese economy as much as it would hurt Apple.
        jmiller1978
      • RE: iPad trademark conflict escalates; call for Chinese import, export ban

        @toddybottom - or whatever you are calling yourself now - Proview has quite a bit of incentive to lie as well... like the fact they are bankrupt.

        http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-02-13/tech/31053973_1_ipad-apple-trademark-infringement

        [b]Wait, you aren't just taking Apple's word on this one, are you? When someone being charged with murder and they say they didn't do it, do you also just believe them?[/b]

        You also forget the whole "innocent until [i]proven[/i] guilty thing... then again since this is Apple they do not have the right to presume to be innocent until proven guilty. Right now Apple is being accused of trademark infringement they have NOT been proven guilty in a court of law. Cue the Double Standards.
        athynz