Saturday28 January 2023

Leaked Proview Documents Raise more Questions than they Answer

Reading time is around minutes.

73Someone at either Apple or IP Applications (the company that Apple used to secure the Trademark name iPad from Proview) has leaked documents in evidence of their case against Proview. However, (and again after careful reading) we have found some very odd things with these documents. The first thing and one that cannot be overlooked is the release of privileged Client/Attorney emails. These were faxed to Postal Services Plus in San Anselmo, CA although the originating number has been removed from the fax (obviously to protect the guilty party here). But there is more going on here than at first meets the casual eye.

The posting on AllThingsD shows the same documents multiple times, which is odd as especially given the spacing. It makes it seem like there are more documents to support Apple’s claim than there really are. In actuality there are 12 pages that matter the other 5 are repeated for some reason.
Moving on to the actual documents in question what we see (on the basis of fact and not inference) is someone stating that they have authority to transfer all Proview Trademarks from Proview to IP Assignment (who would then transfer it to Apple). These e-mails show that they originated from Proview Technology in Chenzhen only by signature. As an email signature and footer can be changed they are really not valid. The only way to truly see the point of origin would be to check the source code behind the email and see where it came from based on mail server and IP (which we hope will be done by the courts).  We also noticed some odd redaction that appears for have been done at different times. We see that on some pages the email address of the IP Application employee has been whited out while on others they were struck with a black marker (or similar). Even the full name of the person has been removed. Another odd item is that although the email is addressed to someone named Jonathan and comes from someone named Huy Yaun, the header shows Fabian Roday… This means that this was printed from the mailbox of Fabian Roday if he was using Microsoft Outlook or a similar email program.

It is very possible that Mr. Roday is the source of these documents and could be facing some serious trouble for leaking them, but as we do not have proof that he was the source of the leak, only the source of the printed document he could actually be blameless in this. Many companies are required to print out emails for documentation purposes in addition to the electronic copies.

Moving on from the emails we will drop down to the application for registration of Trademark Assignment. The first thing that caught our eyes was missing information. The From and To fields are blank. Now before anyone gets all excited about that, the correct information is just below that as the assignor and assignee are filled in. The problem here is that the Assignor states “PROVIEW ELECTRONICS CO..LTD” which has an address of; 6/F, No. 1 Pau-Sheng Road, Yung Ho City, Taipei Hsien, Taiwan. This part of the company did not own the Trademarks 1682310 or 1590557 that are listed in this document.

The next document in question is the Power of Attorney. It again shows the Taiwanese company in reference to the two China Trademarks and not the proper owner of Trademarks 1682310 and 1590557 (which is Proview Technologies (Shenzhen).  To make things look as legal as possible whoever leaked the documents they also sent of a Notary Statement, which means nothing more than the Notary Witnessed the signing of the document and can validate the identity of the people that signed by identification presented.  Considering that at times documents are notarized without both parties being present this document can also be called into question (we have a feeling the Notary named Edward Gardiner here will be called as a witness at some point).  However, we want to be clear, there is no evidence at this time to suggest that The Notary did anything unethical or illegal. We are only stating that he should be contacted and deposed to verify that he witnessed both signatures as is stated in the Notary document.
The rest of the documents only confirm what we have already said; IP Assignments bought 8 Trademarks legally and two that Proview Electronics did not have the rights to sell. Now in our previous article we did note that Apple and IP Assignments do have a decent case for fraud. This is possibly backed up by a cover letter that was included. Although all of the transactions and the legal papers were signed and attributed to Proview Electronics the cover letter clearly shows Proview Technology (Shenzhen).  Even the final signature paper only shows Proview Electronics and is signed by the Legal General Counsel of that division.
Now, here are the facts in these documents. The Emails were sent in violation of Client/Attorney communication. If they have been presented as evidence in the court case this leak could impact their usage and could bring serious penalties. The actual Trademark Assignment agreements were ONLY with Proview Electronics in Taiwan; again a company that did not own them and had no right to assign all of them. A quick trademark search on the part of Apple or IP Assignments would have indicated this. These documents do not show that Apple has the rights to the two China trademarks; they only show that IP Assignments bought the Brooklyn Bridge and now should ONLY be able to go after the parties in question for fraud and perhaps conspiracy to commit fraud. It does not mean the automatically get the two trademarks in China regardless of the Irreparable Damage that it may cause.
Apple also should have a good case against IP Assignments for malpractice or at the very least malfeasance (meaning doing a bad job). We hope that when this case does go to trial ALL of the actual facts in the case are careful reviewed and that the breach of confidentiality is investigated and dealt with. If we were to guess, we would say that the leak was done by someone at IP Assignments in an effort to fend off possible litigation by Apple against them for not doing their job properly. This is only a guess of course, but we would not be surprised to find out that something like this is in the works at Apple.

All documents from a posting on AllThingsD

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Last modified on Friday, 17 February 2012 08:57

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