Apple Says Proview Not Honoring Agreement

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With Chinese law on Proview’s side, retailers (authorized or unauthorized) can not sell iPad in China, much to the disappointment of Apple.

Many online stores in China took the iPad off their shelves after Proview said Apple was breaking its trademark on the term “iPad.”

Despite selling rights to use “iPad” name to Apple in 2009, Proview is falsely claiming to the owner of “iPad” trademark, eyeing to extort US $1.5 billion from Apple. The fight is going on continues in court. However, Apple has released a statement to China Daily about Proview’s allegations on Apple allegedly breaking the trademark.

“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,” according to the statement, which also said the case is still pending on the Chinese mainland.”

Apple claimed to have purchased Proview’s iPad trademark in 2009 in 10 different countries. Proview is refusing to transfer the trademark saying that Taiwanese branch (that registered iPad as a trademark) did not have regular interaction with Shenzen branch. However, Hong Kong courts have already sided with Apple, according to the statement.

Many accuse the Mainland Chinese government of favoring local companies in these types of matters. Thus, this hurdle for Apple cannot be cleared easily. Chinese customs already said it would be difficult to ban Apple’s iPad due to its popularity; although, Proview tried to block iPads from coming in or going out of China earlier this week.

Countering the situation of Hong Kong courts supporting Apple:

“Apple is worried the iPad trademark will be resold before the hearing is finished, so itasked the Hong Kong court to forbid Proview Shenzhen from doing that,” he said,adding that the court’s decision to prevent the trademark from being transferred cannot be seen as showing that it has ruled in favor of Apple. “The root cause of the dispute is Apple’ underestimation of the legal complications inChina,” the lawyer said, adding the case also serves as a warning to companies inChina to think twice about risks before “going abroad”.

If Apple can’t prove that Proview didn’t honor its agreement to transfer the name, Apple will likely settle for somewhere significantly south of the $1.5B that Proview wants for the name or simply choose another name for the iPad in China.

However, lawyers representing Apple said that the sale of Apple’s products (including iPad), would not be affected by this lawsuit because quality is a priority for customers.

Wall Street Journal (WSJ) further added that Apple had asked Amazon China to remove iPads from their online store:

The Cupertino, Calif., consumer electronics giant asked Amazon in China to stop selling iPads because it is not an authorized reseller, according to people familiar with the matter. Amazon has since removed iPads offered by other resellers on its Chinese website as well.

Only time will tell whether Apple would be able to overcome these barriers. Show your support for Apple by posting comments.

Source: 9TO5 Mac

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