updated 01:20 pm EDT, Wed October 27, 2010
Name worth up to $800 million?
A company based in Shenzhen, China is accusing Apple of copyright infringement, writes Agence France-Presse. Proview Technology is reported to have registered an "iPad" trademark as far back as January 2000; more importantly, the firm is believed to still hold rights to the product name inside of China. Apple only launched its own iPad in the country on September 17th, several months after an American introduction.
Yang Rongshan, the chairman of Proview's parent company, is reportedly calling the Apple iPad launch illegal and "arrogant." Proview shareholder Li Su is demanding that Apple "immediately stop its rights infringement activities" and enter new negotiations, under the threat of asking the Chinese government to "seize relevant Apple products." AFP notes that an earlier set of talks for trademark transfer took place, but ended without agreement. Su insists that the value of the iPad trademark is now roughly $800 million.
In May Apple took Proview and related companies to court, hoping to block sale or transfer of the iPad trademark to a third party.
The situation is an unusual reversal, as Apple is more likely to accuse Chinese companies of infringement. Knockoffs of Apple products are common in the region, owing to generally looser copyright restrictions, and the fact that many Chinese cannot afford to buy the genuine article.