February 24th, 2012
08:10 AM GMT
Share this on:

Hong Kong (CNN) - Proview Electronics - a little known Asia-based company that claims it has rights to the “iPad” trademark in China - has taken its legal battle against Apple to the technology giant’s home turf.

In a lawsuit filed last week in the U.S. Superior Court of California in Santa Clara County, the Taiwan affiliate of Proview International Holdings accuses Apple of deception when it purchased the iPad trademark in 2009, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The suit alleges that one of Apple’s law firms set up a company - IP Application Development Ltd (or IPAD) - to buy the trademark from Proview for $55,000, according to the report.

Apple has maintained the purchase gives it worldwide rights to the trademark; Proview Electronics claims that Apple acted deceptively by hiding its involvement.

Parent Hong Kong-based Proview International Holdings has faced financial difficulties in the last two years, with founder, chairman and CEO Rowell Long-san Yang resigning because of his bankruptcy in 2010.

In the last year, the group - which manufactures and distributes LCD monitors - has been ordered to dispose of the assets of two mainland China subsidiaries to settle claims by creditors.

Yang is now head of Proview Group, according to its website, as well as Proview Technology (Shenzhen), another affiliate, which is fighting Apple in mainland China courts, arguing that it and not the Taiwan affiliate held the iPad trademark for mainland China.

On Wednesday, a Shanghai court rejected a Proview Technology (Shenzhen) request for a sales ban of Apple iPads in the city of 23 million. The court also suspended the Chinese company’s lawsuit against Apple, pending a ruling in yet another court battle – this one in Guangdong.

In the Guangdong case, a lower court had sided with Proview Technology (Shenzhen), finding that iPad sales by Apple and a local branch of Sundan, a major electronic appliance store, were infringing on Proview Technology’s rights. The higher court will next hear Apple’s appeal Wednesday.

Last week AllThingsD, a site owned by Dow Jones, posted documents that included email from a “Proview Technology” representative to Apple’s representative agreeing to the 2009 deal.

In its first quarter results announced last month, Apple reported all-time iPhone, iPad and Mac sales with a record quarterly revenue of $46.33 billion and a record quarterly net profit of $13.06 billion. According to the company, it sold 15.43 million iPads during the quarter, a 111% increase over the same period a year ago.

The iPad and iPhone are manufactured in China. Details of the iPad 3 are expected to be unveiled as early as next month.

Posted by: ,
Filed under: AppleBusinessChina

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. creamyjam

    The biggest mistake Apple ever made was to outsource.

    February 24, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  2. ShadowSnw

    Yeah this is rettarded. Why are we trading with this stupid country again?

    February 24, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  3. ShadowSnw

    Next up, China patents General Motors, the Dutch East India company, and the German flag.

    February 24, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  4. B-Gee

    someone should keep his mouth clean.

    February 24, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  5. Proditech

    How B-Gee? Killing someone???

    February 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  6. Khoa

    Poor Chinese.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm |

    that is u get wen u hav copy cat as china

    February 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  8. FreeTrader

    Indian troll ShadowSnw is everywhere to spread his racially charged anti-Chinese slurs. Do you think corporations will move to India because an Indian troll asks them to do so?

    February 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  9. FreeTrader

    Indian troll ShadowSnw is everywhere to spread his racially charged anti-Chinese slurs. Do you think corporations will move to India because an Indian troll asks them to do so? Definitely NO!

    February 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  10. ShadowSnw

    If I am everywhere, then you must be too in order to see it. Things that make you go hmmm...

    February 24, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  11. ShadowSnw

    With any luck they will, and mostly to maintain the current pricing arrangement. Trade with China is ridiculous. You can invent something and they will claim it. Absolutely insane, stop trading with this evil now.

    February 24, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  12. Democrazygirl

    Indian troll ShadowSnw is again preaching his racially charged statement against Chinese again.

    February 24, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
  13. davidmd

    apple is stealing even the trade markers, pathetic

    February 25, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  14. davidmd

    to shadowsnw, indian troll is jealous that america doesnt trade with the biggest zhithole country india , he is crying for its curry smell motherland

    February 25, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  15. Ferrum Equus

    The only reason why Proview Electronics is suing Apple so they can extort a license fee. If Apple was only selling 1000's of iPad's not millions of iPad's, Proview Electronics would not sue.
    The Chinese are biggest violators of trademark infringement. A Chinese Internet company even tried to steal our company's name then sell it back to us for around 5000 US$. They are all bunch of thief's.

    February 25, 2012 at 1:44 am |

    I used to be an APPLE addict, then I took an arrow in the knee

    February 25, 2012 at 2:28 am |
  17. Xpixel

    good for china,they dont have to sell their kindeys to buy ipads anymore

    February 25, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  18. whosurdaddy

    Stupid Indians.

    February 26, 2012 at 6:09 am |
  19. ShadowSnw

    China should copy the "free speech" and "democracy" technology from the US. It's the most advanced technology known to man.

    February 26, 2012 at 8:16 am |
  20. sameh

    Very influential position lion dying


    February 26, 2012 at 8:33 am |
  21. fym

    democratic need national comprehensive ability.dont need anyone pointing.

    February 26, 2012 at 8:44 am |
  22. Ilovechina

    For American,it's an annoyed thing,but for China,it' a good thing to spread the sense of protecting the rights.

    February 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  23. Ilovechina


    February 27, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  24. Ilovechina

    If you don't konw a country well,please don't say something without responsibility!China is a developing country,though it has many problems,it will be solved by the development as time goes by.I belive China.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  25. cpthowdy25

    China needs to disappear

    February 28, 2012 at 3:23 am |
  26. Alfredk

    US should patent the "WND in Iraq", "Financial Crisis" and "Junk Funds" technology. It's the most advanced technology known to man.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  27. Alfredk

    cpthowdy25 needs to disappear?

    February 28, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  28. Xiaopeng Li

    Be a human, we should konw more about the wolrd, about different countries. We live in this beautiful land, and learn to respect others. It is just a suit, and there are laws and regulations to follow.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  29. Ilovechina

    li xiaopeng ?Are you Chinese?How can I contact with you?

    February 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  30. lovechina

    Lixiaopeng,How can i contact with you?

    February 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm |

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About Business 360

CNN International's business anchors and correspondents get to grips with the issues affecting world business, and they want your questions and feedback.

Powered by WordPress.com VIP