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 this matter.
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. 13 statement.
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.