Federal Judge Dismisses Proview’s U.S. Apple Lawsuit

A federal judge has approved Apple’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit that China-based Proview Technologies launched against the iPad maker in the U.S. According to The Wall Street Journal, the judge agreed with Apple’s assertion that the two parties had agreed to duke it out in Hong Kong, effectively knocking the company’s battle out of the U.S. and back to China.

Judge Kicks Proview Suit Back to China

Proview and Apple are suing each other over the “IPAD” trademark, which Apple purchased from Proview in 2009. For its part, Proview has argued that Apple didn’t acquire the rights to the trademark in mainland China, and has sued the company for trademark infringement in that country.

Proview has also accused Apple of obtaining the trademarks fraudulently. The Cupertino company used a subsidiary firm it created specifically for the transaction called IP Application Development Limited, which conveniently can be abbreviated as IPAD. Using intermediary firms for such transactions is common, but Proview has argued in court that Apple fraudulently misrepresented itself.

For its part, Apple has argued that it acquired the rights fair and square in a US$55,000 deal in 2009. That deal was conducted with a Taiwan subsidiary of Proview Technology, in part because Proview Technology was undergoing bankruptcy. In 2011, Proview began arguing that said deal didn’t include the mainland China rights.

The two firms have been going back and forth in China, but in February Proview tried to broaden its case to the U.S. That’s the case that was dismissed on Tuesday, and it doesn’t effect the ongoing battles in China.

Speaking of China, a Chinese court has suggested that the two companies work it out, and there have been reports coming out of China that said the two firms were in negotiation.

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