updated 11:45 am EST, Tue December 6, 2011
Apple cannot sue Proview over iPad name
Apple on Tuesday was reported as having had a lawsuit tossed in China over claims a small firm was violating the iPad trademark. The Shenzhen-area Southern Metropolis Daily said that the Intermediate People's Court dismissed the case against Proview Technology based on time to file. Proview had filed for the trademark in 2000, several years before work had even started on the iPad.
Proview had previously been pursuing own copyright infringement suit for $1.5 billion against Apple. No developments have surfaced since the intentions were made public in October, however. The company is best known for its LED lighting and isn't a direct competitor to Apple.
While there is no question that Proview wouldn't have conceived of the iPad name in 2000 without the popularity of the iMac and iBook at the time, the lawsuit rejection underscores a legal reality that Apple doesn't automatically get legal precedence over its own naming scheme. It encountered this in 2007, when it opted to name its smartphone the iPhone despite Cisco already using the badge for Linksys VoIP devices. Apple agreed to pay Cisco for the rights, although Cisco is widely considered the loser since it had only taken the name to seize on Apple's popularity in the first place.