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Anorak | Apple pays $60 million and still doesn’t get iPad trademark in China

Apple pays $60 million and still doesn’t get iPad trademark in China

by | 28th, July 2012

I DO like this story. It appears that Apple has handed over $60 million in China to buy the Chinese rights to the “iPad” trademark and yet it still doesn’t actually own those rights.

Ooops!

Apple may be waiting some time yet before it gets the rights to use the IPAD name in China after reports from the region suggested that lawyers of its court room opponent Proview are requesting temporary seizure of the trademark until they are paid.

A report on technology news portal Sina Tech (via Marbridge Daily) claimed that Grandall Law Firm has submitted an “asset protection application” to Shenzhen’s Yantian District People’s court.

The back story: Proview, a manufacturer of screens, had a product around the turn of the century which they called the IPAD. Pretty much a clone of a Compaq product. When Apple wanted to release their “iPad” they realised that Proview owned the name. So they set up a shell company (making sure that no one knew it was Apple) and bought it for $35,000.

All good so far. Then, as we know, the iPad became massively, hugely, popular. And amazingly, the China subsidiary of Proview then revealed that while Apple had indeed bought the trademark for the rest of the world it hadn’t for China. Shenanigans maybe but Apple caved and paid the now bankrupt Proview $60 million for the China rights a couple of weeks back.

Apple can now launch the iPad in China (supplies until now have been coming in, sorta “smuggled” from the US and Hong Kong up to now)…..except that it can’t quite. For the law firm that acted for Proview hasn’t been paid. Proview is claiming that since they’re bust they don’t have to pay the lawyers. At which point the lawyers are claiming the trademark until they’re paid.

So, story so far: Apple’s paid $60 million and still can’t launch in China.

Well, they can, but they don’t as yet own that trademark…….



Posted: 28th, July 2012 | In: Money, Technology Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink