Chinese Government: Proview Owns Rights to Apple iPad Trademark

| News

Apple in ChinaA Chinese government official told reporters on Tuesday that in the view of his government, Proview Technology (or Shenzhen Proview) is the rightful owner of the “IPAD” trademark in China. The official’s warning suggests that Apple may have additional pressure to settle with the firm that has claimed in court that it never sold those rights to Apple in mainland China.

The comments came from one Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of the National Copyright Administration, according to an AP story picked up by Fox News (some news outlets are erroneously attributing the reporting to Fox News itself). In those comments, Mr. Yan said, “According to our government’s laws, Shenzhen Proview is still the lawful representative and user of the trademark.”

Due to his position at the National Copyright Administration, his opinion likely carries weight, and his comments could be taken as encouragement from the Chinese government for Apple to knuckle under and pay Proview an additional sum of money for those rights.

Apple claims it bought the rights in a deal with a Proview subsidiary based in Taiwan. Proview itself said that this subsidiary never owned the rights to the “IPAD” trademark in mainland China, and thus was not in a position to sell them. Apple has argued in court that this is not true, and that the deal included the mainland rights.

“The dispute between Apple and Shenzhen Proview concerning the iPad trademark is going through the judicial process,” Mr. Yan said in the news conference. “Given the wide implications of this case we need to wait to see the final ruling of the court, which will decide the ownership rights for the trademark. We will proceed with the case in a prudent manner.”

The imbroglio began when Proview sued Apple in China, a lawsuit that Apple lost. The company appealed the loss, however, arguing that documents and other information had been hidden from the lower court. The Guangdong High Court in southern China accepted the appeal, where it’s been since late February.

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13 Comments Leave Your Own

John Molloy

The problem here is that the name had no value until Apple used it. I bloody hate scheming cheats.

b9bot

And the Chinese court has not ruled yet. So this government officials comments are meaningless and miss guided in so many ways. If Proview does win I see Apple pulling its manufacturing plant out to Brazil where they just started one up. That would pull thousands of jobs out of China. I also think Apple may close it’s stores leaving thousands more unemployed. Now let’s see what Proview can provide as far as jobs for China, Zilch, zip, nada, nothing, zero! Oh and the money they make off the lawsuit will go to the Chinese banks and the retired VP’s of Proview and that’s the end of that story. China will lose thousands of valuable jobs even after Apple had been propping up conditions, and wages considerably. To bad for all the people there that will be banned from Apple products because of a very poor court decision it it happens as the official thinks.

furbies

Hang on a minute!

China has a “National Copyright Administration”

Must be April 1st again

geoduck

Hang on a minute!
China has a ?National Copyright Administration?

The emphasis should be on COPY-right.
LOL

dhp

Proview hates litigation, but Apple needs to invent its own names.

jfbiii

Or buy them. Oh wait…it did. I doubt China will lose very much business from Apple. As an emerging market, they’re pretty important to Apple’s continued growth. The really good news here is that the Chinese government suddenly cares about intellectual property.

furbies

The Chinese government suddenly cares about intellectual property.

Isn’t that an oxymoron ?

Pio

b9bot wrote:
And the Chinese court has not ruled yet. So this government officials comments are meaningless and miss guided in so many ways.

Excuse me to disappoint you, but the people of PR China are lemmings: they follow without thinking what the government says. So Apple has lost the case! Not selling iPads in PRC is the only alternative (let the black market flood PRC with smuggled iPads and Peking will not see a single tax-penny. Bad luck!)

zewazir

This could well be the situation which defines Apple Corp. under its new leadership, as well as the relationship between China and ALL U.S. corporations who do business there. Do they take this laying down, inviting more of the same at a later date at the ultimate cost of who knows how many billions, or do they pick up their toys and go play in a more friendly (meaning honest) business environment until China figures out that beating the cow only sours the milk?

What kind of leader is Tim Cook?

geoduck

Do they take this laying down,

IMO they will.
I don’t expect a corporation, even Apple, to stand on principal when there’s huge profits to make. They will do a hard calculation and figure that a few hundred million bribe money to Proview vs many billions to be made in the market is a good tradeoff. They’ll hold their noise and pay. Remember the vat scene at the end of The Magic Christian.

zewazir

But is capitulation in order to sell iPads worth the implication that Apple, as well as other U.S. companies, can be pretty much bent over any time China decides they need a few extra bucks in their government coffers?  How many more billion will China extort from Apple, or others, on one lame excuse or another? “Pay up if you want to sell your stuff here.” Maybe I’m being paranoid, but historically the Chinese government isn’t exactly known for playing fair when it comes to international trade.

E

Apple doesn’t lay down for anyone or anything. They will hold the screws to china, no question.

Worst case scenario, jack the price of the iPad in china and make sure buyers know it’s a tax to the scumags @ proview for their trademark-whoring lawsuit.

ibuck

Apple could also just rename the iPad. Only in China . . . or everywhere.

BTW, the plant in Brazil was built to get around Brazil’s hefty import tax that caused the iPad to be too expensive there. Not sure the Brazil plant has the capacity to build enough to export to the rest of the world.

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