iPad trademark dispute sees progress
Lawyer Ma Dongxiao, representing Shenzhen-based Proview Technology in a trademark dispute with Apple Inc, is surrounded by journalists outside a court in Shanghai on Wednesday. (Source: China Daily / Gao Erqiang)
GUANGZHOU, May 7 (Xinhua) — Pragmatic progress has been made in the dispute between Proview Technology (Shenzhen) and Apple Inc. over use of the iPad trademark, according to an attorney for Proview (Shenzhen).
“We feel that the attitude of Apple Inc. has changed. Although they expressed that they were willing to negotiate, they have never taken any action before. But now, they are having conversations with us, and we have begun to consult on the case,” said Xie Xianghui in an interview with Xinhua on Sunday.
At a press conference in late April, Fu Shuangjian, deputy director general of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, said that, in accordance with the Chinese Trademark Law, Proview (Shenzhen) still reserves the right to use the iPad trademark in China.
Xie said the two sides have discussed a compensation package, and Apple Inc. has tabled an amount it thinks appropriate. But the Proview side has not agreed on a deal, and Xie would not disclose the amount of money offered by Apple Inc..
Proview, a Shenzhen-based maker of computer screens and LED lights, has been suing Apple in court over rights to use the iPad trademark commonly associated with the California-based technology giant’s popular tablet computer.
Proview claims that the Taipei subsidiary of its Hong Kong-based parent, Proview International Holdings Limited, registered the iPad trademark in a number of countries and regions as early as 2000.
Though Apple brought the rights to use the iPad trademark from Proview Taipei in 2009, Proview (Shenzhen) says it reserves the right to use the trademark it registered on the Chinese mainland in 2001. Proview (Shenzhen) claims that it is a different entity from its Taipei brother and thus is not bound by the deal between Proview Taipei and Apple.
Apple, however, insists the 2009 purchase of the iPad trademark worldwide includes the right to use it in the Chinese mainland.
Although the dispute between the two sides is fierce, Apple’s products sell like hot cakes in China. Last year, China contributed 16 percent of Apples’s revenues during its fiscal quarter ending September, growing almost three times from a year earlier.
Apple unveiled its latest iPad in the United States on March 8, but it has not started selling it on the Chinese mainland market. It remains unclear whether the trademark dispute will further postpone the sale of Apple’s latest tablet computer with the “iPad” name in China.
Some Apple fans have purchased new iPads from Hong Kong or abroad, even through smugglers.
“It’s good for both sides to reach a settlement as soon as possible,” said Xie.
The possibility that Proview will win the lawsuit is very high, but it may take years to get the compensation, said Li Xiaoning, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property rights cases.
Proview stumbled in the 2008 global financial crisis and applied for bankruptcy protection in 2009 as it owed more than 400 million U.S. dollars to eight Chinese banks, according to media reports.
BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhuanet) — A top official threw weight behind Shenzhen-based Proview Technology in its dispute with Apple over the iPad trademark, but instructed law enforcement agencies to wait for the court’s decision before taking action.
“According to Chinese law, both parties involved in the trademark transfer should apply with us together (to make the transfer legal). So Proview Technology is still the owner of the iPad trademark,” said Fu Shuangjian, deputy director of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, on Tuesday. Full story
BEIJING, April 24 (Xinhua) — Proview (Shenzhen) still reserves the right to use the iPad trademark in China according to Chinese law, an official with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) said on Tuesday.
In accordance with the 39th clause of the Chinese Trademark Law, the assignee is entitled to the right of exclusive use of the trademark only after an assignment of a registered trademark has been approved by relevant authorities and been publicly announced, said Fu Shuangjian, deputy director general of the SAIC, at a press conference here. Full story
by Yamei Wang
BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhuanet) — The recent trademark dispute between U.S. tech giant Apple Inc. and China’s Proview Shenzhen has drawn worldwide attention and provoked heated debates both at home and abroad.
Many people begin to predict who will win at last. But no matter who will win finally, the lesson that can be learned from it deserves more attention. Full story