Apple lost iPad trademark in China

Posted on Dec 8 2011 - 10:20am by Julius

A Chinese court has denied the lawsuits of Apple Inc. to acquire rights to the iPad trademark in the country, while a small company seeks to ban the tablet from being distributed under the iPad name.

In Tuesday, the Shenzhen Municipal Intermediate People’s Court said in a statement that it had rejected the company’s lawsuits against Proview Technology, a Shenzen-based display vendor. The firm, which is now in financial trouble, registered for the trademarks “IPAD” and “iPAD” in 2001. Even though Apple bought the rights to the iPad name in Taiwan for $54,000 in 2009, the company still retains the right to use it in mainland China.

In an article from the Financial Times, Proview’s lawyer Xiao Caiyuan said, “Apple is such a Goliath and has a good image, so people wouldn’t imagine that Apple could possibly infringe on our intellectual property rights. People always think it’s small companies infringing upon large companies’ IPR.”

Proview is now asking a compensation of $1.6 billion from Apple in order to settle the case and maybe to save the company from its ongoing financial crisis. Since the iPad has been a huge part of Apple’s business, the only way out of this mess is to pay Proview or to use a different name.

According to Apple, its Beijing and Shanghai stores generate the highest cash flow of any of its stores. Apple chief Tim Cook said in the company’s annual earnings call that “China, the sky’s the limit there.”


via: Financial Times

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