Apple loses iPad trademark court battle in China

In the year 2000, a Chinese company named Proview Technology trademarked the name iPad in its home country. Of course, today that term is known as the branding behind Apple's highly successful iOS tablet device. But even the mighty Apple wasn't able to convince a judge in China to allow it to use the iPad term. ZDNet reports that the patent court in Shenzen, China ruled in favor of Proview Technology's claim on the iPad trademark.

Apple had actually bought what it thought was the global trademark to the iPad from IP Application Development in back in 2006. However in October, Proview decided to sue Apple for trademark infringement, claiming that it still had the right to use the name iPad in China.

The big question is: What will Apple do next? It could appeal the patent court decision but its more than possible that a Chinese court could rule in favor of a China-based company rather than give the iPad Chinese trademark to a US corporation.

Apple could also pay what could be a huge amount of money to settle the lawsuit with Proview and gain the trademark in that way. The final, and not optimal, solution for Apple is simply to sell the iPad via another name in China.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Amazon is a ruthless devil, bookstore says

Next Story

Report: Verizon to launch Netflix rival in 2012

30 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Well think about it-- Since they claim the App is their word... then why not.....
AppPad only sold in China. You guys might remember a brand that Chevy had in Mexico instead of selling a Chevy Nova (Chevrolet thought that people would think No Go - No Va) to Caribe. -- Though that is funny just waiting on them to try to take down a company I know that is a Gas company named -- POD Gas (Piedmont Onsite Delivery Gas. They were in business long before Apple coined the term Pod. Nice to see that someone thinks it is trivial to grant a patent for just as simple as putting an "i" in front and now it is coin-able. Still gets me for a logo for an Apple company that sold Apples can't use an Apple with a bite out of it. (that does not look like theirs) or an Apple with a worm wriggling out it.

wow... then Apple is in a pinch.

iPad ***IS A CHINESE PRODUCT** (I.E. IT IS MADE IN CHINA) so even if Apple decide to not to sell iPad inside China but it is still produced in China, and exportation is considered a sale (so it apply all the local trademark regulation).

Magallanes said,
wow... then Apple is in a pinch.

iPad ***IS A CHINESE PRODUCT** (I.E. IT IS MADE IN CHINA) so even if Apple decide to not to sell iPad inside China but it is still produced in China, and exportation is considered a sale (so it apply all the local trademark regulation).

Never thought about that. LOL the irony. The one place where all the stories of their terrible manufacturing work environments come from is the one place where they can't sell the product (as is).

What I really want to know is how Apple thought they were ever going to win this case... "We're Apple" doesn't always work...

M_Lyons10 said,
What I really want to know is how Apple thought they were ever going to win this case... "We're Apple" doesn't always work...

Perhaps they thought that Proview wouldn't be able to afford to fight them. That seems to be how a lot of litigation works, send them to court knowing that the enemy can't afford to defend themselves, and win on a technicality.

M_Lyons10 said,
What I really want to know is how Apple thought they were ever going to win this case... "We're Apple" doesn't always work...

Umm, how do you think a court case works? Both sides plead their case...

Soldiers33 said,
Well finally Apple is starting to lose court cases. I hope theres more to come.

Get off your high horse...
Until they start doing something wrong, there won't be court cases. In this particular case, they were wrong. But if you are referring to the Samsung cases, then Samsung is at fault for stealing Apple's property. Learn your facts...

Astra.Xtreme said,

Get off your high horse...
Until they start doing something wrong, there won't be court cases. In this particular case, they were wrong. But if you are referring to the Samsung cases, then Samsung is at fault for stealing Apple's property. Learn your facts...


I see a future that's Appleless.

there is no such thing like global trademark. you have to register your trademark and patents anywhere separately.

coth said,
there is no such thing like global trademark. you have to register your trademark and patents anywhere separately.

That's what I always thought as well. I've never heard of this "Global Trademark" term before...

PotatoJ said,
Yay ... China can do whatever it wants I guess.

Well yes they can, but this isn't china, this is an individual company that owns the trademark to a device in that country. like it or not apple doesn't own it.

PotatoJ said,
Yay ... China can do whatever it wants I guess.

How dare they let a company keep their own trademark. Don't they know who apple are??

-T- said,

How dare they let a company keep their own trademark. Don't they know who apple are??

You miss the point. China often only respects IP laws in instances that benefit domestic interests.

LazLong said,

You miss the point. China often only respects IP laws in instances that benefit domestic interests.


No, he got right. . .you missed his point totally.

LazLong said,

You miss the point. China often only respects IP laws in instances that benefit domestic interests.

Hate to pee on your shiny unicorn view of the world, but your statement is true of all countries. The EU would do the same, and often don't care much about IP unless the US directly pressures them, or it involves a company in one of their countries.

The US sadly doesn't protect its domestic interests very well, which is why this might seem strange to you if you are US based.