Proview Asks Apple For $1.5 Billion For iPad trademark
According to the Financial Times, A Taiwanese contract manufacturer of flat screens Proview sold the "global trademark" of iPad to Apple in 2006 but it still possesses the trademark in China. Few years ago Proview released an I-Pad tablet, but the product wasn't successful and the company abandoned the project.
Caixine, which is a Chinese news site, reveals that Proview asks more than 1.5 billion dollars from Apple. Proview chairman Yang Rongshan even threatened the company:
“We will sue them for damages in China and in the US”.
According to the trademark databases in the period of 2000-2004 Proview had registered the iPad trademark in several countries, which include "the EU, China, Mexico, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam". The U.S. trademark of iPad was sold to Apple by Fujitsu in March.
Yang Rongshan also told that in 2006 his company sold the iPad trademark for $55,000 to IP Application Development, but they didn't know the company had a connection with Apple, and this deal didn't include Chinese rights to the trademark.
“It is arrogant of Apple to just ignore our rights and go ahead selling the iPad in this market, and we will oppose that. Besides that, we are in big financial trouble and the trademarks are a valuable asset that could help us sort out part of that trouble.”
Under "financial trouble" Yang Rongshan means having assets seized by a Chinese creditor banks and defaulting on loans that are worth $400 million.
Apple assures the 2006 deal must include the Chinese trademark rights, but the Financial Times reports Proview is really currently registered as the owner of two iPad trademarks that were registered in China. Apple succeeded in its legal attempt to block Proview from selling the iPad name but the case is still opened.
Such disputes could cause additional problems in Apple's expanding strategy in China. The iPad was shipped to China on Sept. 17 and hundreds of buyers lined up that day outside the company's retail stores. Apple also has the online store which offers free shipping of its products.
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