Apple Lawsuit over iPad Name: A Lost Cause in China

December 10, 2011
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It seems like Apple is trying to earn itself more money by filing infringement cases with their biggest competitors. If you’ve been following us, you may have read about our earlier report on the ongoing infringement case Apple filed against HTC. A new case, however, has been rejected by a court in southern China. This was for the case in which Apple filed a lawsuit against a Chinese technology company for infringing the iPad trademark.

Despite the fact that Apple is already considered as the market leader in smartphones and tablets, it is still dealing with a few roadblocks in the east. Considering it is a key growth region for Apple, the discovery of fake Apple stores in the southwestern Yunnan province can definitely hurt its image. These fake branches were discovered in the early part of 2011.

Sadly, Apple’s complaint was rejected by the Intermediate People’s Court in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen. This has put Apple’s lawsuit against Proview Technology (Shenzhen) into a much deliberated struggle over the use of the trademarked name. As for Proview’s side, the company claimed that they have lawfully registered the trademark as early as 2000. This was for a series of products to be distributed in several countries, China included. They also provided court documents.

Considering the launch of its own iPad tablet came a few years later than the Chinese brand, Apple had already discussed the possibility of producing the device. This was then panned by many through online forums and Twitter because Apple chose a name that, ironically, coincides with a woman’s hygiene product. After the success of the iPad, jokes about its name came to an abrupt stop—proving that its own capabilities were much superior compared to its name. Until today, iPad sales are still soaring and are far from the success of other companies.

Contrary to its success, the legality of using the iPad name is considered crucial for Apple. This is particularly true since the company has plans of opening more stores in China. With the unfortunate turn of events of the lawsuit, executives are planning to simply scratch the surface in China, in terms of its sales.

Course of Action

Rumor has it that Proview Technology (Shenzhen) has taken legal action against this infringement battle. A spanking amount of 10 billion Yuan or $1.5 billion is being sought by Proview as compensation for the copyright infringement filed by Apple. Apart from dealing with the lawsuit against its trademark, Apple is also on a constant battle against counterfeiters.

[Source: Reuters]

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