Numerous online stores in China have taken the iPad off their shelves, after Proview said that Apple was breaking their trademark on the term “iPad”. The fight continues in court, but today, Apple has released a statement to China Daily about Proview’s allegations of Apple breaking the trademark.
“We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple, and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter,” according to the statement, which also said the case is still pending on the Chinese mainland.”
Apple says that they purchased Proview’s iPad trademark over several years ago, in 10 different countries. Proview is refusing to transfer the trademark, and Hong Kong courts have already sided with Apple, according to their statement.
“Apple is worried the iPad trademark will be resold before the hearing is finished, so itasked the Hong Kong court to forbid Proview Shenzhen from doing that,” he said,adding that the court’s decision to prevent the trademark from being transferred cannot be seen as showing that it has ruled in favor of Apple.
“The root cause of the dispute is Apple’ underestimation of the legal complications inChina,” the lawyer said, adding the case also serves as a warning to companies inChina to think twice about risks before “going abroad”.
If Apple can’t prove that Proview didn’t honor its agreement to transfer the name, Apple will likely settle for somewhere significantly south of the $1.5B that Proview wants for the name or simply choose another name for the iPad in China.
Yu said the sale of the Apple’s products, including the iPad, will not be affected by the lawsuit, because what customers care about is the quality.
WSJ further adds that Apple did in-fact ask Amazon China to remove iPads from the website:
The Cupertino, Calif., consumer electronics giant asked Amazon in China to stop selling iPads because it is not an authorized reseller, according to people familiar with the matter. Amazon has since removed iPads offered by other resellers on its Chinese website as well.