Apple's battles over the "iPad" trademark with Chinese firm Proview escalated to a new level with the latter’s California lawsuit.
Apple is being
sued in the Superior Court of the State of California in Santa Clara County by
Proview Electronics Co. Ltd. And Proview Technology Co., both facets of Chinese
technology company Shenzhen Proview Technology, which claims the tech giant
engaged in deceptive practices when it bought the trademark to the term iPad.
lawsuit, filed Feb. 17, Proview claims that Apple concealed its real intentions
when it purchased the trademark, ostensibly for a special-purpose entity named
IP Application Development Ltd. (iPAD). Of course, Apple ended up attaching the
name to its best-selling tablet, something that Proview feels entitles it to
to the U.S., Apple is going to somewhat have a homeground advantage, Elliot
Papageorgiou, a partner at law firm Rouse Legal (China), told Reuters
Feb. 24. But Apple could still move to settle, he added, simply because the
ability to disrupt shipments is more immediate than the pressure faced by
Proview and its potential delisting.
has filed for bankruptcy and apparently risks delisting from the Hong Kong
stock exchange, is already locked in battle with Apple over the issue in
Chinese courts. There, Shenzhen Proview Technology has argued that, while Apple
indeed purchased that trademark from its Taiwanese affiliate in 2009, those
rights are invalid on the Chinese mainland. It wants Chinese courts to forbid
Apple from selling its tablets as the iPad in China.
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
Apples only Chinese conundrum at the moment. In late January, The New York Times
published a series of
reports about working conditions at Foxconn, which builds Apples bestselling
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.
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.
Nicholas Kolakowski on Twitter