Apple and Proview have been battling back and forth in the United States and in China over the “iPad” trademark. Now, Apple has accused the Chinese firm of “misleading Chinese courts and customers” when it comes to the fight over the iPad name. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple feels that Proview tricked it into signing a trademark agreement that was full of holes and open to lawsuits that could suck money from Apple.
“We respect Chinese laws and regulations, and as a company that generates a lot of intellectual property we would never knowingly abuse someone else’s trademarks,” Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu said.” Proview clearly made that arrangement so they wouldn’t have to give the money to their creditors in [China]. Because they still owe a lot of people a lot of money, they are now unfairly trying to get more from Apple for a trademark we already paid for.” Proview thinks Apple is misleading the public, too, by using a trademark that it believes it still owns. Ownership of the trademark is currently being argued for in front of a court in China’s Guangdong province.
Proview is fighting the trademark war on two fronts, however. In one case, it believes that Apple tricked it into selling the trademark when the Cupertino-based company purchased the rights under another name — a common practice for major companies. On another front, Proview is arguing that Apple purchased the rights from its Taiwanese affiliate, and that Proview China was actually the rightful owner to the name.
Proview had reportedly stopped using the iPad moniker three years before Apple purchased the rights in 2009. Proview thinks Apple’s lawyers made a mistake and has said that it’s open to negotiations with Apple. Still, just last week the company tried to ban Apple’s brand new iPad in China, too.
[via The Wall Street Journal]