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Chinese company accuses Apple of violating iPad trademark

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. sribe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Was there a Chinese iPad?

    I don't know Chinese law of course, but in the U.S. if you never use a trademark then you can't keep it. More precisely, you can't get final approval without affirming that you're using it, and to continue holding it you must continue using it. (Which was Cisco's problem with the iPhone name--no shipping product for years, followed by a slapdash attempt to cover up that fact.)

  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Too funny.

    A Chineese company concerned about copyright infringement. lol

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    China is lawless

    You know they make up all sorts of phony stuff.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Including documentation, I might add

    Likely story.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    of course it's now worth 800 mil. what was it worth with your supposed "iPad" thing before apple came out with one?

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Tell you what, Bejing...

    Take care of those 3,200+ copyright infringements by Chinese firms on U.S. products first, and then you can look at the claim against Apple.


  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I can't dismiss this claim

    just because it's from a company in China. Doesn't matter.
    If it's valid, then it's valid. That may come down to what the courts decide, west Texas or otherwise.

    I do think it will come down to what the trademark was worth before Apple made an actual product with the name though. Saying what it's worth "now" is sorta like admitting to trolling and extortion. On the other hand, they do not have to give up the trademark unless they made no attempt to protect it. Again, the courts...
    They do not have to sell it either, for any amount of money.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Pull the product from China and Apple wouldn't be

    As if more than 10% of the Chinese population could afford iPads. Those who could afford it already bought them from the US.

  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How about...


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