Feeds

Chinese company demands $38m, 'apology' from Apple

Convoluted iPad trademark battle grinds on

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

A Chinese trademark-infringement case against Apple's right to use the name "iPad" that has been rumbling along since October 2010 has taken another turn: the Shenzhen company involved in the imbroglio now wants Cupertino to be levied a $38m fine – and it wants an apology.

"We are asking the court to order Apple to stop selling and marketing the iPad in China. We also demand an apology," Proview Technology Shenzhen's lawyer Xie Xianghui told China Daily.

The trademark case will be heard in a Shanghai court on February 22, and the Xicheng district branch of Beijing's market administrative authority is considering Proview Shenzhen's request that Apple be slapped with a 240 million yuan ($38m) fine.

As is often the case in international trademark matters, the case is a convoluted one. According to Xie, Proview Shenzhen registered the iPad trademark in 2001. An associated company, Proview Taiwan, sold the trademark to a UK company, IP Application Development Limited, in 2009 for £35,000 ($55,000), according to Guangdong's Nanfang Daily.

That UK company – which was founded right before the sale and is now listed by Level Business as a "dormant company" – then turned around and sold the iPad trademark to Apple for the princely sum of £10 ($16).

The wrinkle in the deal, according to China Daily, is that Proview Taiwan was not legally representing Proview Shenzen. Accordingly, when Apple attempted to transfer the trademark to the People's Republic of China in 2010, it was turned down by PRC authorities.

Apple sued in a Guangdong court and lost, but was granted the right to appeal – which Apple did.

An unnamed "insider" commenting on Proview's request for the $38m fine told China Daily that "other branches of the Beijing administration had listened to Xicheng's report" on the Shenzen company's allegations, "But many of us hold different opinions on whether it is Apple breaching Proview Shenzhen's rights or Proview Shenzhen dishonestly demanding compensation. We didn't reach consensus on the fine as well."

So this trademark-infringement mud-wrestling match keeps slogging on, unresolved. The Reg doubts if lawyer Xie will get his apology anytime soon. If ever. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.