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Apple threatens to sue Proview for defamation

updated 11:10 am EST, Mon February 20, 2012

Accusation comes after minor Proview court victory

Apple is now threatening to sue Proview for defamation as a part of the companies' ongoing iPad trademark dispute, says IDG News. On Monday Apple is reported to have sent a letter to Proview, insisting that Proview Shenzhen chairman Yang Rongshan stop releasing what Apple claims is false information. It warned Proview that it might otherwise launch the defamation suit.

"It is inappropriate to release information contrary to the facts to the media, especially when such disclosures have the effect of wrongfully causing damage to Apple's reputation," Apple's letter is quoted as saying. The document was provided by a source described by IDG as "familiar with the matter."

The letter comes in response to a Friday press conference by Yang, in which he insisted that Proview does hold the Chinese rights to the iPad name. That, in turn, was made after the emergence of evidence that Apple might well hold the trademark. In its letter Apple argues that contrary to his press conference statements, Yang knew a that Taiwanese subsidiary was in talks for mainland Chinese rights, and that Proview headquarters in fact negotiated and approved the deal.

Proview has managed to score another minor legal victory however, according to the Associated Press. Xie Xianghui, a lawyer for Proview Shenzhen, says that the Intermediate People's Court in Huizhou has ruled that distributors should halt iPad sales in the country. The win is at least Proview's second in mainland China, the first of which Apple is appealing. A court in Shanghai is due to hear yet another related case on Wednesday, and in some parts of China iPads have been confiscated from shelves. Apple continues to refer to a Hong Kong ruling in its favor as support for its position.

On Friday a Proview spokesperson said the company would consider dropping all legal actions if Apple agreed to pay $400 million in compensation. Proview may be motivated largely by money, as it recently filed for bankruptcy.

by MacNN Staff





  1. jdonahoe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is really troubling

    China seems to want to play both sides of the court system. It wants to ignore prior legal rulings and use its own biased (see, there is a reason to keep your population under tight reins) court system to squeeze outside companies for some extra cash. China doesn't seem to want to play fair with the rest of the world. I feel that stopping sales of iPads in China will come back to bite them in the a$$ down the road.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. kerryb

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Like the western countries play fair always...

  1. facebook_John

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2012


    Did it or is this another Proview attempt

    Did it score another victory?, or is this lawyer just repeating what the CEO keeps releasing to the press. I would take there stories with a grain of salt for now especially if it is coming from Proview. There in bankruptcy right now and are desperate to win for that big cash payout. However if Apple did there due diligence and already bought the licensing as they said they did, I don't think Proview can win except if the Chinese government steps in. If it does I think Apple will re-think where it manufactures all of there hardware and China would lose big time with job losses in the tens of thousands.

  1. aduffbrew

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wheels of Justice

    I'm not quite sure what to think of Proview's recent victories but they have been small and temporary. Given the evidence, I am convinced Apple will be vindicated. China is an emerging democracy taking an evolutionary rather than revolutionary path. Like many of her institutions, the judiciary is in transition. Mistakes will be made and delays inevitable but in the end the stakes are too high to ignore what must be done.

  1. sgs123

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What Jurisdiction?

    Note that Proview's victories have been in obscure municipalities -- if you're cynical, where it might be easier to bribe officials. Apple has started with Hong Kong, where it may have more influence.

    Compare with our own patent litigation in Texas.

    I would suspect Apple to just appeal to higher courts, until either it can get a fair hearing, the Ministry of Trade gets involved, the price of bribery gets out of Proview's budget, or Proview runs out of money.

  1. macmedia1

    Joined: Dec 1969


    make ipads somewhere else

    Apple has huge monetary reserves. They should immediately invest in another country that would be fair. Vietnam, India, some South American countries, h*** - maybe even parts of Africa. It will take some time to train people but It's the same as the US giving aid to the countries - but the people will WORK for their aid. Forget about doing it in the US. We will never be able to mobilize 200k - 400k people in one area and that would take the risk of doing so. Plus like it or not, the wages here are far disproportionate to the price any of us would want to pay if we made it here. Would any of you pay $1500-$2000 for an ipad? If not, you can't complain about US losing jobs as there was none to lose to begin with (no one would buy one)

    Obviously, China is not completely aligned with US interests so we/Apple should shop elsewhere for their manufacturing needs.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The Real Reason...

    "On Friday a Proview spokesperson said the company would consider dropping all legal actions if Apple agreed to pay $400 million in compensation. Proview may be motivated largely by money, as it recently filed for bankruptcy."
    Pretty obvious, now, isn't it? It's a desperate cash grab - executed in typical inept fashion.

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