Saturday28 January 2023

Apple Could Lose the iPad Trademark in China... Plus much more.

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introWe warned of this happening back when we first read about the fight between Apple and the Shenzhen China base Proview. It seems that a government official in China is stating that they are backing Proview in this case. A senior official in the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) stated that the trademark does currently belong to Proview. This comes as a shock to many especially after Tim Cook’s visit to China recently where it was thought he was trying to win support for Apple in this case.

The issue as we see it is not about the actual deal here. It is more the fact that Apple took extraordinary measures to conceal their identity and also appears to have made claims that could be counted as fraudulent. According to Proview in a suit filed in the State of California (yes Proview is suing Apple here in the US for fraud) Apple created a shell company called Intellectual Property Application Development Limited (iPad get it) specifically for the purpose of buying the trademark without exposing Apple.

Now this is not a big deal and companies do it all the time; however… Proview also claims that IPAD Limited wanted the trademark because it matched the initials of its company name. They also claim that IPAD Limited stated that they would not use the trademark to compete with Proview in any way.

This last line is the kicker; Proview originally registered the iPad trademark for their Internet Personal Access Device. Apple would have known this (again according to the suit) which is why the attempted to defraud Proview.
Proview also is standing behind the fact that the sale was done through their Taiwanese subsidiary who did not have the rights to sell any trademarks owned by Proview Shenzhen. Apple has also exposed themselves to counter suit with their current legal fight, but that was unavoidable. Intellectual Property Application Development Limited does not really exist and Apple suing them for not doing their due diligence would be like them suing themselves. Proview took advantage of this with their suit against Apple in the US.

With everything going the way it is and with eye of the world on China over working conditions in Apple’s Chinese manufacturing partners factories things could go bad for them quickly. We really do wonder what the market will be like if Apple cannot export or import the iPad from their main manufacturer without paying. We know they simply cannot stop making them, but this will hurt them globally no matter how you slice it.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 13:30

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