It looks like if you were hoping to buy an iPad in China, eventually you might have to start looking for the device under a different name. It turns out that the Chinese courts have rejected Apple’s claims to the iPad trademark, but the Cupertino company has since decided to appeal that decision, so there’s still some hope left.
For those who may have forgotten, back in December last year Apple lost a trademark dispute in China over the iPad moniker. It seems that the iPad name belonged to a Shenzhen based company, Proview Technology, who had registered the trademark to the iPad name way back in 2000 before Apple even came up with the idea of the iPad. According to Apple, they claim that they bought the rights to the iPad trademark via a UK company named IP Applications, who claims to have bought the rights from a Taiwanese subsidiary of Proview Technology.
Despite that rather long chain of custody, it seems that because Proview Technology themselves did not attend the negotiations, the purchase was considered to be void. Despite that, Apple has since then asked Proview to transfer the iPad trademark over to Apple, and at the same time are asking for compensation in legal fees of up to 4 million yuan (~$600,000). Proview in response has filed lawsuits seeking the injunction of the sales of Apple’s iPads. The cases are still pending, but in the mean time let’s hope that both Apple and Proview will be able to resolve this without it turning ugly.
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