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iPad trademark violation case

02-22-2012 16:22 BJT

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The trademark violation case over the use of the iPad name has been opened in Shanghai. Shenzhen Proview Technology is fighting Apple Inc. over its use of the trademark in China.

Shenzhen Proview Technology claims ownership over the iPad name. Apple says it bought the rights to the name in China and other countries in 2009, but that Proview failed to transfer the rights in the Chinese mainland as agreed.

Proview has filed lawsuits in several places and has requested that commercial authorities in 40 cities block iPad sales.

Shanghai’s Pudong district court convened a hearing on the issue on Wednesday.

Liu Chunquan, the intellectual-property lawyer at Polaw & Co weighs in. Liu said: "Apple knows this very well, so it uses a small company to buy this trademark. It is a very common practice in China, we also get this kind of business, because a lot of Chinese investors are registering a lot of domains and trademarks, and waiting for the big clients to buy them. So my opinion is that this is not fraud. This is not business fraud, this is like the Chinese saying, business is like a battle, it’s like a war."

The trademark case is highlighting mixed attitudes toward Apple in China. Chinese are just as crazy about iPads and iPhones as consumers anywhere else. And the devices are manufactured in China, employing hundreds of thousands of people.

But public awareness has been growing of criticism over the labor and environmental practices of huge factories that assemble the devices.

Liu said: "Apple will lose all the infringement cases, whatever is happening there. And Apple will still have opportunity in the appeal or in a different case. But I think the solution, the final solution may probably be that Apple reaches an agreement with this Proview company outside of the court. That is probably the result, because that is also the result of many international business disputes."

So far, iPads have been pulled from shelves in some Chinese cities, but there has been no sign of action at the national level.


Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: CNTV.CN

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