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Key case for Apple drags on in China


Stephen Yang

The final instance hearing of the dispute between Apple Inc and Proview Technology (Shenzhen) Co Ltd over the use of the iPad trademark, was held in the Guangdong High People’s Court on February 29.

The cause of this dispute can be traced back 11 years. Proview Taipei, like Proview Shenzhen a subsidiary of Proview International, registered the iPad trademark in a number of countries and regions as early as 2000. Proview Shenzhen registered the trademark in two classes in mainland China in 2001. At that time Apple had not yet launched its tablet PC product iPad.

In 2009, Apple founded IP Application Development Limited (IPADL), a company registered in the UK seemingly for the sole purpose of buying the iPad trademark on a global scale. Because this company’s name has the same abbreviation as iPad, as alleged by IPADL, IPADL contacted Proview and asked to buy the trademark.

In 2009, Proview Taipei sold the global trademark right of iPad to IPADL and then Apple bought the rights to use the trademark from IPADL. However, Proview said that the iPad trademark right in China was not included in the transfer. Proview Shenzhen claims it still owns the iPad trademark right in China and Proview Taipei has no right to sell it.

China, Apple, Proview, iPad dispute

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