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Hong Kong monitor maker sues Apple over iPad moniker

Proview to a kill

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A struggling Hong Kong monitor manufacturer has come up with a not-so-novel way to dig itself out of financial trouble: sue Apple.

Proview International, according to a report by The People's Daily, registered the iPad trademark outside of China in 2000. One division of the company, Proview Taipei, failed in its attempt to market an iPad computer, and sold the rights to the trademark to Apple.

Another Proview division, however, Proview Technology of Shenzhen, China, applied to register two iPad trademarks in China. Proview Technology claims it holds the rights to the iPad trademark in that country.

And so Proview International is now suing Apple for 10 billion yuan ($1.5bn, £950m) for damages related to trademark infringement — one hefty chunk of change, seeing as how the company has a market capitalization of $20m, net assets of negative $235m, and a net loss in its last fiscal year of $375m, according to the most recent figures supplied by the Hong Kong Exchange.

We don't think for a nanosecond that Apple will pay anywhere near Proview's exorbitant demand. After all, Cupertino has already settled one iPad-trademark dispute with Fujitsu, and Steve Jobs himself has laid claim to the word "pad" alone.

And then there's the fact that — as we noted when Cupertino settled its iPad trademark dispute with Fujitsu — the magical and revolutionary device shares its moniker with — at minimum — a credit-card swiper, defibrillator, pre-fab home, proposed residential tower, commercial-kitchen hardware, Internet Personal Access Device, aging-monkey database, operating system, and cleavage-enhancing bra inserts, available in sizes from sizes B to DD.

Get in line, Proview International. ®

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