Apple sued in US over iPad trademark by Proview

Who owns the trademark to the name "iPad"? Apple has been fighting in court in China for some time with a company named Proview, who has claimed it owns the iPad trademark. Now that court battle has crossed the Pacific Ocean. Reuters reports that Proview has now filed a lawsuit in California that claims Apple tried to use legal and corporate trickery to secure the iPad trademark.

In December, Proview won a court battle in China over the iPad name with a judge agreeing with the company that it owns the iPad trademark in that country. Proview trademarked the name in 2000 but Apple claimed it bought the rights to the name from Proview in 2009. Proview's new US lawsuit claims that Apple bought the trademark rights via another company Apple created, IP Application Development.

Proview alledges that Apple would not say why it needed the iPad trademark and added that Apple made decisions "with the intent to defraud and induce the plaintiffs to enter into the agreement". Proview is asking for all iPad sales to be halted in the US. Apple claims that Proview is simply trying not to honor a previously signed agreement.

Meanwhile, the legal battle in China continues between the two companies. A Shanghai court ruled this week that Apple can continue to sell iPads in China, over Proview's objections. A new court hearing for the Chinese version of this lawsuit is expected to be held next week.

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27 Comments

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I am a apple and windows fan but basically, Proview is filing bankrupty. They have no money and the company is in the toilet and they don't make anything worth buying.

They sold the rights to apple and now they want more money to help the company stay afloat.

Apple should buy proview fire all the ahole proview execs and close the company. It's all about the money that is all proview wants. They are just cry babies.

So basically, proview is butthurt because they didn't know it was Apple that was buying their trademark and weren't able to inflate the price accordingly.

Proview reminds me of domain squatters. If you email them from a corporate email address the value of a domain will be about 10x higher than if you email them from your gmail address.

I hope Proview wins this just because I think iPad was a stupid name then, and it is still a stupid name . I wouldn't mind it if my next Apple tablet was named something different.

Open Minded said,
Oh God, I hope Proview wins. That would be poetic justice.

^ That too, but I doubt that's gonna happen... especially in CA.

Open Minded said,
Oh God, I hope Proview wins. That would be poetic justice.

Considering they've already sold the rights to the trademark to Apple once before how exactly is this poetic justice? Unless of coures you support shady business tactics

Open Minded said,
Oh God, I hope Proview wins. That would be poetic justice.

I am curious: why would it be "Poetic justice"?
I am not an Apple fan but....... you own something but you are unable to generate money out of it, you decide to sell it................. and the buyer is generating hoards of money with it
What is the problem?!?!?!?!

Fritzly said,

I am curious: why would it be "Poetic justice"?
I am not an Apple fan but....... you own something but you are unable to generate money out of it, you decide to sell it................. and the buyer is generating hoards of money with it
What is the problem?!?!?!?!

Problem is if it was illegally obtained. Then your entitled to all of it.
Imagine u make a name called Test. Big Company X claims test as thier own and makes millions WITHOUT your consent, and you would sit there and let that happen would you?

Shahrad said,

Problem is if it was illegally obtained.

It looks like Apple created separate company with intent to hide real name and to protected itself from possible rip-off from Proview. When you go to buy something then you don't wave your wallet in front of everybody so nobody will attempt to hold ransom something just because you are rich.

Shahrad said,
Proview alledges that Apple would not say why it needed the iPad trademark

They didn't have to.

EJocys said,

It looks like Apple created separate company with intent to hide real name and to protected itself from possible rip-off from Proview. When you go to buy something then you don't wave your wallet in front of everybody so nobody will attempt to hold ransom something just because you are rich.

They didn't have to.

that's what Disney did when they built disney world, they made fake companies up to buy up property so no one would know what was going on or jack prices up because of who it was

Open Minded said,
Oh God, I hope Proview wins. That would be poetic justice.
Ironic name considering the statement.
Shahrad said,
Problem is if it was illegally obtained. Then your entitled to all of it.
Imagine u make a name called Test. Big Company X claims test as thier own and makes millions WITHOUT your consent, and you would sit there and let that happen would you?
That is not at all reflective of the current situation.

When Apple was getting the iPad trademark, they bought it from Proview Taiwan, with the claim by Proview that they were also getting the trademark in mainland China; Apple even claims to have signatures from Proview China stating as much. There is no question that Apple bought it from Proview Taiwan, but they did not buy it as "Apple." However, as someone pointed out, you do not need to announce to the world when you buy things; shell companies are legal for such situations to avoid being gouged or cheated.

Now, fast forward to today: Proview China is a company that is in large amounts of debt. They have suddenly claimed that Proview Taiwan sold the rights to everywhere except mainland China, because "Proview Taiwan did not get permission from Proview China" (paraphrased). The odd thing is that Proview Taiwan appears to be the parent company, but that is not clear in most articles, nor is that a sure thing (some articles even suggest that they are unrelated).

Regardless, Apple absolutely bought the non-PRC (People's Republic of China) rights legally from Proview Taiwan. If Proview China (Shenzhen) is a different entity, then Apple is going to have to pay up for the rights in the RPC. If Proview China is a subsidiary, then this is just another corrupt Chinese company with an eye on stealing their way back into relevancy. Considering the new US case, they are saying that they did sell the iPad trademark, but they undervalued their position because they bought it from a shell company. It sounds an awful lot like a money grab.

I think the most interesting bit about this is that China thinks it is a-okay to literally copy everything that it can from America with no respect for copyright, trademark, or anything else, but the second that the reverse is true, then they have a $100 million+ court claim (in their own country). It's an interesting system that I have no respect for.

No matter what the truth is, I hope that the US court throws the case out. We do not have jurisdiction in China, nor do we handle their copyright law; they clearly do not care about our law (see everything at Walmart). As a company of Microsoft, Google, or Apple's scale, it only makes sense to buy things like trademarks for unannounced products through a shell company to avoid being taken through the "ringer" by people that gain a bogus bargaining chip (something along the lines of "you have a lot more money in the bank; therefore this is suddenly worth ten times as much").

pickypg said,
Ironic name considering the statement.
That is not at all reflective of the current situation.

When Apple was getting the iPad trademark, they bought it from Proview Taiwan, with the claim by Proview that they were also getting the trademark in mainland China; Apple even claims to have signatures from Proview China stating as much. There is no question that Apple bought it from Proview Taiwan, but they did not buy it as "Apple." However, as someone pointed out, you do not need to announce to the world when you buy things; shell companies are legal for such situations to avoid being gouged or cheated.

Now, fast forward to today: Proview China is a company that is in large amounts of debt. They have suddenly claimed that Proview Taiwan sold the rights to everywhere except mainland China, because "Proview Taiwan did not get permission from Proview China" (paraphrased). The odd thing is that Proview Taiwan appears to be the parent company, but that is not clear in most articles, nor is that a sure thing (some articles even suggest that they are unrelated).

Regardless, Apple absolutely bought the non-PRC (People's Republic of China) rights legally from Proview Taiwan. If Proview China (Shenzhen) is a different entity, then Apple is going to have to pay up for the rights in the RPC. If Proview China is a subsidiary, then this is just another corrupt Chinese company with an eye on stealing their way back into relevancy. Considering the new US case, they are saying that they did sell the iPad trademark, but they undervalued their position because they bought it from a shell company. It sounds an awful lot like a money grab.

I think the most interesting bit about this is that China thinks it is a-okay to literally copy everything that it can from America with no respect for copyright, trademark, or anything else, but the second that the reverse is true, then they have a $100 million+ court claim (in their own country). It's an interesting system that I have no respect for.

No matter what the truth is, I hope that the US court throws the case out. We do not have jurisdiction in China, nor do we handle their copyright law; they clearly do not care about our law (see everything at Walmart). As a company of Microsoft, Google, or Apple's scale, it only makes sense to buy things like trademarks for unannounced products through a shell company to avoid being taken through the "ringer" by people that gain a bogus bargaining chip (something along the lines of "you have a lot more money in the bank; therefore this is suddenly worth ten times as much").

I'm no apple fan, but I agree 100% with your views on thier total disregard for US copyrights and lax control of piracy.

Shahrad said,

Problem is if it was illegally obtained.

This company reasoning seems very weak to me:

"Proview's new US lawsuit claims that Apple bought the trademark rights via another company Apple created, IP Application Development."

So what? it is not illegal.........

"Proview alledges that Apple would not say why it needed the iPad trademark"

No comments needed here......

Matthew_Thepc said,

IP Application Development = I.P.A.D.

lols.... >_> sneakeh! sorry its 6am here my brain is not working... and i didnt think IPad i thought internet protocol

-Alex- said,
"IP Application Development"... I see whatcha did there... crafty

and don't forget, Apple has the trademark on the lowercase 'i'

What Apple did to obtain the trademark was definitely a type of trickery (IMO). Proview would have definitely been able to sell the trademark for a hell of a lot more if they would have known it was Apple they were dealing with.

Despite the fact that it was "trickery" I don't think that would necessarily invalidate the deal.