Chinese Authorities Seize iPads Due To Trademark Row


We reported earlier that after being barred from using “iPad” name for its tablet in China, Apple maybe stopped from selling its tablet unless it agrees to change its name. Now that is happening.

Apple appealed against the verdict against it but it cannot expect anything in its favor due to the hostile environment it is facing from Chinese authorities.

The dispute over the ownership of the name “iPad” in China has resulted in local authorities in that country to seize Apple iPads from retail stores in one northern city, Shijiazhuang. Proview Technology, which is located in Shenzhen, claims ownership of the iPad name and wants the devices removed from 20 cities. Apple is saying that they purchased rights to use the name “iPad” from the Taiwanese branch of Proview, a claim that despite having documented evidence fall on deaf ears of the biased authorities in China.

Possibly, Proview Technology sent letters to authorities in Shijiazhuang, which is southwest of Beijing. The Washington Post has reported quoted an economic investigation official saying that all iPads had been taken off the shelves in the Xinhua district in Shijiazhuang. The official gave no indication of how many locations or devices had been involved.

Apple has only five of its own Apple Store retail locations in China. None of them are based in the affected area. However, due to the popularity and good quality of Apple products in China, Authorized (and unauthorized) resellers, are in many cities across the country.

The iPad name was registered in China to Proview back in 2001. A Taiwanese affiliate, Proview Taipei had registered the iPad name in various countries as far back as 2000. Apple had purchased rights to the name from Proview Taipei in 2009 for US $54,700.

Proview (Shenzen Branch) has claimed it still has rights to the name in mainland China. In December 2011, a Chinese court rejected a complaint from Apple that Proview was violating its rights to the iPad name. After that, Proview filed a complaint with the commercial bureau in Beijing in January 2012.

In an earlier court filing, Proview has asked for US $1.5 billion in damages.

Chinese cops must be having a good time as now they have a chance to have an iPad for free.

Source: The Mac Observer

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