Apple's battle in Chinese court over the iPad trademark is the latest issue it faces in that country, which include controversies surrounding Foxconn.
Apple and Chinese technology firm Shenzhen Proview
Technology are battling in Chinese court over the iPad trademark.
Shenzhen Proview Technology argues that, while Apple indeed
purchased that trademark from its Taiwanese affiliate in 2009, those rights are
invalid on the Chinese mainland. The company, which recently filed for
bankruptcy, has asked the court to forbid Apple from selling its tablets as the
iPad in China.
We bought Proviews worldwide rights to the iPad trademark
in 10 different countries several years ago, Apple wrote in a Feb. 22
statement to The
New York Times
and other media outlets. Proview refuses to honor their
agreement with Apple in China, and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in
In late January, The New York Times
published a series of
reports about working conditions at Foxconn, which builds Apples best-selling
products. The workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor
in harsh conditions, read the papers Jan. 25 piece, which partly drew its
information from unnamed factory employees. Problems are as varied as onerous
work environments and serioussometimes deadlysafety problems.
Those reports drew a fair amount of negative attention to
Apple. In January, it became the first technology company admitted to the Fair
Labor Association, and its suppliers apparently opted to cooperate fully with a
special voluntary audit by the organization. We believe that workers
everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment, Apple CEO Tim
Cook wrote in a Feb.
In the wake of that inspection of its manufacturing
facilities in China, Foxconn gave its workers a pay raise. According to Bloomberg
salaries jumped anywhere from 16 percent to 25 percent.
Apple had launched high-profile investigations into
Foxconns facilities before, notably after 12 worker suicide attempts
throughout the first half of 2010. Moreover, Apples annual reviews have
uncovered a number of suppliers violating the companys code of conduct.
Now, in addition to its factory concerns, it seems as if
Apple is facing a legal fight as well.
Nicholas Kolakowski on Twitter