Policy change prompted in part by Apple v. Proview dispute
The Chinese government is planning to crack down on "malicious" trademark applications, Reuters reports. A proposed amendment is expected to better protect international brands sold in the country, and give copyright owners the ability to block similar or identical trademark registrations. The change is said to have been prompted by a number of high-profile incidents, such as the confrontation between Apple and Proview over the iPad trademark.
Q3 iPad shipments reach 2.07 million units
Following the resolution of the lawsuit between Apple and Proview over the iPad trademark, iPad shipments to the Chinese market have nearly doubled. This according to analysts with research firm IDC, who found that shipments of Apple's tablet jumped from 1.15 million units in the second quarter of this year to 2.07 million in the last quarter. The release of the third-generation iPad had been delayed following the finding by Chinese government officials that Proview rightfully held claim to the iPad trademark.
Grandall owed $2.4 million by defunct monitor manufacturer
Although Apple's legal battle for the iPad trademark in mainland China is over, the entire fight may not be complete. Bankrupt computer monitor manufacturer Proview has yet to pay the Grandall Law Firm that helped negotiate the $60 million settlement with Apple for the iPad name. As previously reported, Grandall is suing Proview and is also pushing to block the intellectual property transfer to Apple, attempting to force Proview (or potentially Apple) to pay its legal fees before the multitude of creditors demanding money from Proview are paid.
Proview insists immediate payback isn't necessary
The legal agency which represented Proview in its recently-settled lawsuit with Apple, Grandall Law Firm, is now suing its former client, reports say. Grandall says that Proview has failed to pay a promised 4 percent of Apple's payout, which translates to about $2.4 million. Apple settled with Proview for $60 million in order to secure use of the iPad trademark in mainland China.
Apple gets on with new iPad sales in China following settlement
Apple has settled with Proview for $60 million over alleged infringement of the iPad trademark in China, according to Reuters. Apple had claimed that it was the legal owner of the iPad trademark after buying naming rights from Proview in 2009 using a shell company. Although Apple has insisted its deal included the transfer of naming rights in mainland China, Proview asserted default control of the iPad name in the region.
Parties must continue talking to avoid judgment
The Higher People’s Court of Guangdong is delaying its decision on an Apple appeal asserting ownership of the iPad trademark in China, according to Zhao Le, a spokesman for the court's foreign affairs office. Apple has long maintained that it owns the rights to the iPad trademark in mainland China, having made a deal with local owner Proview in 2009. In November, though, a lower court ruled in Proview's favor in a lawsuit, arguing that Proview's Shenzhen division was the actual owner of the mark, but hadn't been represented in the deal.
Sum would fall well short of repaying Proview creditors
[Update: Proview said to have rejected the offer] The settlement offer Apple is extending to Proview is valued at $16 million, according to local reports. Earlier this week a Proview lawyer claimed that the two parties were discussing a compensation package, and that Apple had even named an amount, but at the time he declined to provide any more details. If accurate, the $16 million figure will still fall well short of the $63 million Proview owes to creditors as a part of its bankruptcy.
Apple may have already proposed settlement sum
Progress is being made in settlement talks between Apple and Proview regarding the Chinese iPad trademark lawsuit, lawyers for Proview claim. One of them, Xie Xianghui, recently spoke with China's official Xinhua news agency, and said that the two parties have discussed a compensation package. Apple has even allegedly mentioned a specific sum, but Proview has yet to agree to anything.
May aid Proview in settlement talks
Chinese government officials are currently siding with Proview in the company's iPad trademark dispute with Apple, reports suggest. The Associated Press quotes Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of the National Copyright Administration, as saying that the government considers Proview Shenzhen to be the rightful owner of the trademark. The Wall Street Journal meanwhile cites Fu Shuangjian -- the deputy director of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce -- as having a slightly different perspective.
Companies may be at detente over iPad trademark
Apple and Proview are in active settlement talks regarding their iPad trademark dispute, a lawyer for the latter party tells IDG News. Ma Dongxiao has, however, refused to offer any more details. The Higher People’s Court of Guangdong Province is currently deliberating on the case, but earlier this week recommended mediation, in keeping with Chinese law that allows for such talks before a ruling is handed down.
Reprieve will allow Apple v. Proview to continue
The Intermediate People's Court in Shenzhen has rejected a request to liquidate the assets of Proview Shenzhen, China Daily reports. One of Proview's creditors, Fubon Insurance, had previously filed several requests to have Proview's Shenzhen subsidiary liquidated. Although Proview is currently suing Apple, Fubon has argued that Proview won't make enough money to pay off its debts.
Company steps up pressure on local vendors
Proview Shenzhen has issued an open letter to dealers and vendors in China, warning them not to sell the iPad, according to the Associated Press. The company threatens "the most severe measures" against anyone using "IPAD" or a similar trademark. This includes pursuing civil or even criminal allegations; to date Proview has only pursued a civil case against Apple in China, disregarding a separate US lawsuit.
Proview now challenged by own banks
Proview faced an unusually ironic conflict Wednesday after the eight banks handling its bankruptcy argued that they, not Proview, had ownership rights in the iPad trademark dispute. The collective in a statement argued that whatever dispute existed was "essentially between Apple and the eight banks," which involved firms like China Development Bank and China Minsheng Bank. In taking Proview's assets, they understood that they also owned the trademarks.
Could affect ongoing lawsuit against Apple
One of Proview Electronics' major creditors, Taiwan's Fubon Insurance, is taking steps to have Proview liquidated, according to Chinese media outlets. Fubon is reportedly asking for $8.68 million in debts from Proview, and has filed to have Proview declared bankrupt. An official at Shenzhen's Intermediate Court says he expects an announcement to be made "in the near future."
Says Apple frontman dodged questions
Proview has amended its California lawsuit against Apple with new claims about the latter party's alleged fraud. Newly referenced is the managing director of Farncombe International, Graham Robinson, who Proview says was instrumental in helping Apple create IP Application Development (IPAD) Limited, the firm which bought rights to the iPad trademark in December 2009. Robinson is said to have used an alias when negotiating with Proview Taiwan -- Jonathan Hargreaves -- and moreover dodged questions from Proview about the nature of IPAD's business.
Proview gambles on US lawsuit strategy
Proview is now known to have quietly sued Apple in the US last week over the iPad trademark dispute. It claimed in a Santa Clara court that Apple's decision to use a shell company, IP Application Development Limited (IPADL), was allegedly fraudulent. By masking its own involvement, Apple was trying to "defraud and induce" Proview into signing a trademark handover deal that it might not otherwise have agreed to, according to the lawsuit.
Proview told it sold iPad trademark to Apple
Proview suffered a major setback in its attempt to extract a settlement from Apple on Thursday after reports that it was denied a ban in the Shanghai Pudong New Area People's Court. Government-backed newspaper Xinmin Evening News said that the court agreed with Apple's position that it had legally bought the trademark for use in mainland China in 2009. The win keeps the iPad on shelves in Apple's three Shanghai stores.
Apple claims iPad sales are 'national interest'
Lawyers for Apple and Proview exchanged heated words today in a Shanghai court hearing, according to reports from the Associated Press and Reuters. Proview is seeking a ban on iPad sales in the city as a part of its ongoing trademark dispute with Apple. "Apple has no right to sell iPads under that name," said a lawyer for Proview Shenzhen, Xie Xianghui. Proview once sold a product called the IPAD, or Internet Personal Access Device.
Promises court cases to continue
Proview is now "preparing for negotiations" with Apple, says Xie Xianghui, a lawyer representing Proview. "The court cases will continue until we reach an agreement," he adds. While Xie has declined to go into any more detail, he does claim that Apple has expressed "peaceful intentions" in the matter. Apple has yet to publicly respond to requests for comment.
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.
Proview Shenzhen chairman takes hardline
Proview is holding to the position that it retains the iPad trademark in China, the company has announced at a Friday press event. "If we are not compensated properly, then Apple doesn't use the iPad trademark in mainland China," states Yang Rongshan, chairman of Proview Shenzhen, and the main shareholder in Proview International. A representative for Proview creditors in fact suggests that Apple could end up paying as much as $2 billion in compensation, even though Proview has previously only sought up to $1.6 billion in its lawsuit.
Insists Proview 'refuses to honor their agreement'
Apple has broken its usual silence on legal matters to defend its assertion to the iPad trademark in China, a China Daily report indicates. "We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple, and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter," an Apple statement claims. The company also says that the case is still pending in the Chinese mainland.
Chinese customs say iPad is too popular to ban
Proview Technology has said that Chinese customs authorities have told them a ban on the import and export of Apple’s iPad would be difficult to enforce, according to Reuters. The Hong-Kong based company is currently locked in a dispute with Apple over its use of the iPad name, which Apple believes it legitimately purchased from the Proview and trademarked in China and nine other countries. Customs authorities in China have said that any attempt to ban the iPad from China would meet opposition because of its popularity.
Proview hopes to pressure Apple with export ban
Proview's small number of retail iPad seizures were just part of hopes that it could effectively ban the iPad worldwide, the Chinese company argued as part of a report Tuesday. It was hoping not just to stop Chinese sales and imports under the iPad name but also exports, which would nearly ban the sale of the iPad worldwide. Attorney Roger Xie in talking to Bloomberg didn't explain how he thought Proview could enforce its China-only trademark in other countries.
Could signal escalation in Apple vs. Proview
Officials in the Chinese city of Shijiazhuang raided an unnamed Apple reseller over the weekend, reports claim. In all 45 iPad 2s are said to have been confiscated; despite the limited scope of the raid, Chinese news sources indicate that a number of other vendors have decided to hide their iPad stock rather than risk losing it. Shoppers should nevertheless still be able to buy iPad 2s from official and unofficial sources in the city.
Apology, iPad embargo among demands
A lawyer for Proview Shenzhen, Xie Xianghui, is claiming that a court in the Xicheng district of Beijing is prepared to "slap Apple with a 240 million yuan ($38 million) fine," according to the Global Times. The Xicheng district administration, though, is refusing to comment. "It is still under investigation, so no official comments on the case can be made yet," a media officer with the administration states. The China Daily meanwhile quotes Xie as also demanding an apology, and an injunction against the sale and marketing of iPads in China.
Apple tries again to sue Proview over iPad name
Apple has appealed the rejection of a lawsuit in an attempt to claim the iPad trademark for itself in China. A quietly submitted and just now discovered January 5 filing with the Higher People's Court in Guangdong has challenged the idea that Proview still had its trademarks after a Taiwan branch sold rights to UK intellectual property holding company, IP Applications. The appeal not only wants the trademark given to Apple but for court costs of four million yuan, or about $633,693, to be covered by Proview.
Settlement with Apple likely resolution
Fresh off a successful defense against a related Apple lawsuit, Proview Technology is trying to block iPad sales by suing Apple resellers in southern China, says the Financial Times. Currently Proview is targeting vendors in Shenzhen and Huizhou. "We are starting with these two cities, and if we are successful in getting iPad sales stopped, we will consider going after Apple resellers elsewhere in China," says Xie Xianghui, a lawyer working with Grandall, one of the lawfirms acting on behalf of Proview.
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.