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Reuters reports on the first public comments from a government official regarding Apple's dispute with Proview over ownership of the "iPad" trademark in China, with the official stating that according to Chinese law Proview is indeed the rightful owner of the trademark.
"According to the ... provisions of the China Trademark Law, currently Shenzhen Proview is the legal registrant of the iPad trademark," Fu Shuangjian, a deputy director of [the State Administration for Industry and Commerce], was quoted as saying at a news conference in Beijing. [...]

"This case has a huge impact and the final court ruling would directly influence who owns the iPad trademark. The commerce department will (take the matter) very seriously," said Fu, whose department governs market regulation and supervision.
Fu's comments are not an official ruling on the matter, as the case is still being tried in a Chinese court and settlement talks are reportedly underway, but his perspective could provide a hint about how the case will ultimately play out.

His comments do, however, leave some room for interpretation, potentially noting only that Proview remains listed as the trademark's owner in governmental records. In that context, his comments may simply be observational rather than outlining a position that Proview should ultimately retain those rights.

Apple claims that it obtained the Chinese trademark on the iPad name through a dummy corporation it set up to purchase various iPad trademarks from Proview's Taiwanese arm in the months leading up to the device's debut in early 2010. But Proview later argued that the Chinese right could not have been included in the deal because they were controlled by Proview's Shenzhen arm, despite the fact that officers participating in the deal were aligned with both companies.

A Hong Kong court ruled that Proview and its subsidiaries had conspired to extort additional money out of Apple once it became known that it was the ultimate purchaser of the rights, but Chinese courts are continuing to weigh the matter.

Article Link: Chinese Official Says Proview Rightful Owner of iPad Trademark
 

Swain

macrumors member
Nov 6, 2011
75
0
Interesting.
I'm curious though, why doesn't Apple just buy the trademark?
It's not like they don't have enough cash laying around to do so.
 
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gwelmarten

macrumors 6502
Jan 17, 2011
476
0
England!
I'm sure Proview knew that Apple wanted the trademark for China at the time, and that that was Apple thought they were agreeing to.
It seems like Proview planned to trick Apple by selling them part of a trademark, but not all of it. They clearly knew what it was apple actually wanted!
 
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keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,273
Although I can't say I agree with all of Apple's legal battles, this is one I thought they should have won. So what does this mean? The thieving Proview company will get a billion-dollar settlement for a trademark name they sold in the first place? :mad:
 
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goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
5,950
2,980
long island NY
I don't think it is right for the company to sell the trademark and then make some bs excuse that they didn't just to steal money from apple.
 
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thekris1234

macrumors member
Jun 10, 2011
36
0
Interesting.
I'm curious though, why doesn't Apple just buy the trademark?
It's not like they don't have enough cash laying around to do so.

Because I'm sure if you bought the rights to something, which subsequently became a success and them the originally company (all be it a failing one) sued you, you'd be pretty pissed at such a money grabbing attempt.
 
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ardy8888

macrumors newbie
Mar 3, 2011
27
0
It may be cheaper for Apple to simply stop selling the iPad in mainland China than to pay Proview if it comes to that. And if it were me, now that Apple is having devices assembled in Brazil, I'd say lower production in China just to say "Thanks for helping us get the rights to the iPad name that we already paid for"
 
Comment

MUCKYFINGERS

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2005
769
15
CA
It may be cheaper for Apple to simply stop selling the iPad in mainland China than to pay Proview if it comes to that. And if it were me, now that Apple is having devices assembled in Brazil, I'd say lower production in China just to say "Thanks for helping us get the rights to the iPad name that we already paid for"

Punish all of their Chinese consumers and workers depending upon Apple's business because of ONE silly company's lawsuit?

Right. Brilliant.
 
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ardy8888

macrumors newbie
Mar 3, 2011
27
0
Punish all of their Chinese consumers and workers depending upon Apple's business because of ONE silly company's lawsuit?

Right. Brilliant.

What I'm saying is, punishing the Chinese consumers and workers should assist the Chinese court to make the correct decision in this case. I could see a threat to some higher officials being enough of a deterrent if things start looking gray in court.
 
Comment

ddelapp

macrumors newbie
Nov 29, 2011
17
0
Isn't it a problem for Fu to comment on "The Law" when the ruling has not been made official? Doesn't that create bias?
 
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Plas00

macrumors member
Jul 11, 2008
58
0
Simply and rightfully: **** CHINA and their dodgy law altogether!! Move assembly and production to Latin America or even US itself and set an example for the Chinese government and people that are one and the same. And for all u naive people here the official name should serve as a hint: People's Republic of China.

Expensive and challenging yes but the people complaining it can't be done should shut up and stop interrupting the people that is actually doing it.

Cheers.
 
Comment

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,214
1,164
Simply and rightfully: **** CHINA and their dodgy law altogether!! Move assembly and production to Latin America or even US itself and set an example for the Chinese government and people that are one and the same. And for all u naive people here the official name should serve as a hint: People's Republic of China.

Expensive and challenging yes but the people complaining it can't be done should shut up and stop interrupting the people that is actually doing it.

Cheers.
Cannot be done in the US. Foxconn's facility alone has near the population of Atlanta alone... doing nothing but iDevice assembly.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/b...zed-middle-class.html?_r=3&hp=&pagewanted=all

“The entire supply chain is in China now,” said another former high-ranking Apple executive. “You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.”

“They could hire 3,000 people overnight,” said Jennifer Rigoni, who was Apple’s worldwide supply demand manager until 2010, but declined to discuss specifics of her work. “What U.S. plant can find 3,000 people overnight..."

Apple’s executives had estimated that about 8,700 industrial engineers were needed to oversee and guide the 200,000 assembly-line workers eventually involved in manufacturing iPhones. The company’s analysts had forecast it would take as long as nine months to find that many qualified engineers in the United States.

In China, it took 15 days.
 
Comment

ardent73

macrumors regular
Jan 14, 2010
151
53
No choice

Punish all of their Chinese consumers and workers depending upon Apple's business because of ONE silly company's lawsuit?

Right. Brilliant.

Hello? If Apple ultimately loses, and they refuse to pay Proview again, they will be forced to stop stop selling the iPad in China or rename it. And it will be the Chinese punishing themselves, not anything that Apple will have done.

I think they should just change it to: iPadd :D
 
Comment

jjsheb

macrumors newbie
Apr 24, 2012
2
0
Punish Apple

I am generally a fan of everything Apple, however, the simple fact that no one on this board seems to realize is that Apple is the villain here.

Apple acted in bad faith, disguising their ownership of "dummy" corporations in order to obtain world wide rights from ProView. If Apple had come to ProView, demanded a non-disclosure agreement, and then proceeded to negotiate a fair rate for the iPad trademark, there would be no dispute, but that is not what Apple did. They lied about who was buying these rights, and obtained the right to the iPad name everywhere but China. If their lawyers had been thorough, the Chinese rights would also have been obtained through this subterfuge, but they screwed up and now they should pay a hefty price for their lies and oversight.

Making misleading or false statements, or omitting material true statements, that, in light of the circumstances, would be misleading, is fraud. Apple is guilty. Would ProView outside China have sold so cheap if Apple had not disguised itself?

Apple is only in supposed settlement talks because they know they are in the wrong. Apple could crush them in court if they had a case, but they don't.
 
Comment

kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,181
115
There'll be an out of court settlement. I can't see Apple winning this when Proview's main creditors are the Bank of China and a bunch of other Chinese banks. Maybe it is my ignorance of the Chinese courts, but I don't believe it'll be a fair trial and corruption will play a part.

Apple acted in bad faith, disguising their ownership of "dummy" corporations in order to obtain world wide rights from ProView. If Apple had come to ProView, demanded a non-disclosure agreement, and then proceeded to negotiate a fair rate for the iPad trademark, there would be no dispute, but that is not what Apple did. They lied about who was buying these rights, and obtained the right to the iPad name everywhere but China.

If Apple had come to Proview as "Apple" and not a dummy corporation, Proview would've refused to sell the trademarks for anything less than an absurd amount of money. There's a reason companies (not just Apple) do this, and it is to get a fair market price on trademarks, rather than paying silly amounts to companies who want to make a lot of money out of thin air.
 
Comment

d0vr

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2011
603
1
Apple acted in bad faith, disguising their ownership of "dummy" corporations in order to obtain world wide rights from ProView.

Oh grow up and get with how the world works. This was standard business practises, nothing special about the way Apple acted here. If I were in business, I'd do exactly the same thing.
 
Comment

jasontll

macrumors newbie
Jul 5, 2010
15
0
I am generally a fan of everything Apple, however, the simple fact that no one on this board seems to realize is that Apple is the villain here.

Apple acted in bad faith, disguising their ownership of "dummy" corporations in order to obtain world wide rights from ProView. If Apple had come to ProView, demanded a non-disclosure agreement, and then proceeded to negotiate a fair rate for the iPad trademark, there would be no dispute, but that is not what Apple did. They lied about who was buying these rights, and obtained the right to the iPad name everywhere but China. If their lawyers had been thorough, the Chinese rights would also have been obtained through this subterfuge, but they screwed up and now they should pay a hefty price for their lies and oversight.

Making misleading or false statements, or omitting material true statements, that, in light of the circumstances, would be misleading, is fraud. Apple is guilty. Would ProView outside China have sold so cheap if Apple had not disguised itself?

Apple is only in supposed settlement talks because they know they are in the wrong. Apple could crush them in court if they had a case, but they don't.

Dude obviously you haven't gone to business school before, that's a legit strategy. ;)
 
Comment

jgrahame

macrumors newbie
Nov 5, 2011
10
0
It may be cheaper for Apple to simply stop selling the iPad in mainland China than to pay Proview if it comes to that. And if it were me, now that Apple is having devices assembled in Brazil, I'd say lower production in China just to say "Thanks for helping us get the rights to the iPad name that we already paid for"

Proview only claims rights to the name. Apple could send a very clear message to them (and other potential court trolls) by simply rebranding the iPad as the iPod Tablet in China. Of course, that wouldn't nullify Proview's claim that Apple owes them an astronomical sum of money for using the name. That would have to play out in court.

My guess is that Apple is willing to pay a smallish amount (sub $10m) to Proview to make them go away. This would allow Proview to save face and clam a Pyrrhic victory while discouraging others from taking similar action. Of course, maybe Apple is playing hardball, too.
 
Comment

GJessopp

macrumors newbie
Apr 24, 2012
4
0
I love how China is kicking the arse out of this case. This is coming from the country which infringes copyright on millions of products. Their market is swarming with fake copies of every consumer good there is worth buying. They don't have any right to sue anyone over copyright infringement.
 
Comment

ouimetnick

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2008
3,043
4,114
Beverly, Massachusetts
I am generally a fan of everything Apple, however, the simple fact that no one on this board seems to realize is that Apple is the villain here.

Apple acted in bad faith, disguising their ownership of "dummy" corporations in order to obtain world wide rights from ProView. If Apple had come to ProView, demanded a non-disclosure agreement, and then proceeded to negotiate a fair rate for the iPad trademark, there would be no dispute, but that is not what Apple did. They lied about who was buying these rights, and obtained the right to the iPad name everywhere but China. If their lawyers had been thorough, the Chinese rights would also have been obtained through this subterfuge, but they screwed up and now they should pay a hefty price for their lies and oversight.

Making misleading or false statements, or omitting material true statements, that, in light of the circumstances, would be misleading, is fraud. Apple is guilty. Would ProView outside China have sold so cheap if Apple had not disguised itself?

Apple is only in supposed settlement talks because they know they are in the wrong. Apple could crush them in court if they had a case, but they don't.

The dummy corp was setup for a few reasons. If they came to Proview as Apple, then Apple would have to pay ridiculous amounts of money. Also it was done to keep confidentiality. You clearly can't trust Chinese officials. They are sneaky, and doubt they would even maintain confidentiality. It also would pretty much be clear that Apple is coming out with a product called iPad.

How is using a dummy corporate fraud. Its a little sneaky, but not against the law. Apple was perfectly with in the law to create a new company, and have them buy the trademark. Again, it is for confidentiality, and to pay a fair price, and not be ripped off by money hungry douche bags (Proview has already proved to be money hungry douche bags.)
 
Comment

Derpage

Suspended
Mar 7, 2012
451
194
The epic battle continues! Who will win? Copyright troll or Patent Troll?

I see this as being rather poetic.
 
Comment

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
17,817
5,289
I'm sure Proview knew that Apple wanted the trademark for China at the time, and that that was Apple thought they were agreeing to.
It seems like Proview planned to trick Apple by selling them part of a trademark, but not all of it. They clearly knew what it was apple actually wanted!

That doesn't make any sense at all. Proview _did_ legitimately own the trademark, and they sold it for £35,000 to a company owned by Apple. Had they known about Apple wanting the name, they could have asked for any amount they wanted (up to the point where Apple would have used a different name in the ten countries where Proview owned the trademark instead of paying).


It may be cheaper for Apple to simply stop selling the iPad in mainland China than to pay Proview if it comes to that. And if it were me, now that Apple is having devices assembled in Brazil, I'd say lower production in China just to say "Thanks for helping us get the rights to the iPad name that we already paid for"

No need for that. Worst case the iPad gets renamed to "iPod XL". Then they tell Proview "your trademark is worth zilch now, we'll buy it for $100,000. Offer goes down by $10,000 every day".


Although I can't say I agree with all of Apple's legal battles, this is one I thought they should have won. So what does this mean? The thieving Proview company will get a billion-dollar settlement for a trademark name they sold in the first place? :mad:

This news means that some unknown "official" who has nothing to do with the case, and certainly has no business opening his mouth about an ongoing court case, was either fed a line by Proview, or cash changed hands for him to make a statement, trying to put pressure on Apple. The court case is not affected, and Apple has proof that Proview lied to the first court.
 
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needfx

Suspended
Aug 10, 2010
3,931
4,241
macrumors apparently
Apple claims that it obtained the Chinese trademark on the iPad name through a dummy corporation it set up to purchase various iPad trademarks from Proview's Taiwanese arm in the months leading up to the device's debut in early 2010. But Proview later argued that the Chinese right could not have been included in the deal because they were controlled by Proview's Shenzhen arm, despite the fact that officers participating in the deal were aligned with both companies.

A Hong Kong court ruled that Proview and its subsidiaries had conspired to extort additional money out of Apple once it became known that it was the ultimate purchaser of the rights, but Chinese courts are continuing to weigh the matter.

a fine example of good ol' fashioned industrial espionage

HKGs ruling seems favorable to AAPL, given the influence of the western business world, while this Chinese official, riding his high horse, contradicts the ruling of their PRC* state, even though sovereign (to the PRC) since '97.

All this can only mean that we can expect lots of serious international action!!



*People's Republic of China
 
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