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Apple loses iPad trademark in China


15:11, December 09, 2011

The term "iPad" instantly brings to mind the world's favorite super-tablet created by the late Steve Jobs. But now, Apple has been denied the rights to the trademark for the term "iPad" in China, in a legal battle with Hong Kong-based Proview Technology. Proview registered the trademark back in 2000, and it’s been a series of back-and-forth lawsuits ever since.

The triumphant rise of Apple’s iPad in the lucrative Chinese market has hit an unexpected stumbling block. Apple originally sued Proview Technology, a Hong Kong-based tech company, for trademark infringement. A court in southern China has rejected the company’s claim to the iPad trademark, potentially putting a dent in sales in the world’s largest consumer market.

At the heart of the dispute is whether or not a 2006 agreement between Proview’s Taiwan-based subsidiary, to sell Apple the "global trademark" for the iPad name for around 54 thousand U.S. dollars, includes China. Apple says yes, and Proview disagrees - it says the Chinese trademark rights are actually owned by its Shenzhen-based company, and are different to those owned by its Taiwan subsidiary.

Xie Xianghui, lawyer for Proview Technology said: "Actually we believe Apple infringed our client’s trademark earlier, when it released the iPad on the Chinese mainland market, which is already in breach of the law."

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