Apple vs. Proview: Creditors Demand Proview Bankruptcy

Apple's iPad in China

Apple’s battle for the Chinese rights to the trademark for “IPAD” just had its complexity quotient upped a smidgen as creditors closed in on its opponent, Proview Technology. According to the Associated Press, Taiwan-based Fubon Insurance has filed an application to have Proview declared bankrupt as it seeks to recover some US$8.68 million owed by Proview.

Proview Technology sold the rights to the trademark for “IPAD” to Apple in 2009, but has since claimed the deal didn’t include the rights to mainland China. Apple and Proview have since gone back and forth with a series of court actions and public relations moves in their effort to cast the other as the negligent party in the affair.

Proview was once a big player in the computer display market, but chose to expand its business just before the economic collapse of 2008. Today, the company is all but shut down, and its biggest economic opportunity appears to lie in getting Apple to cough up more money than the US$55,000 Apple paid for the rights in 2009.

Fubon Insurance, however, wants money now, and while Proview has all but shut down its electronics manufacturing business, the company has facilities and assets throughout Asia. Fubon wants the company forced into bankruptcy in order to try and recover its debts from those assets.

Fubon didn’t comment on the story, but Ma Dongxiao, an attorney representing Proview, told the AP that bankruptcy action wouldn’t affect how its court cases against Apple would be handled.

Proview is suing Apple in China and the U.S.—the company then amended its U.S. suit to include charges of fraud and unfair business practices. The Chinese company won the first round in China, but Apple has appealed the case and claimed that it has new documentation to prove that it does own the rights for “IPAD” in China.