As lawsuits amp up, Proview extends olive branch to Apple
Amid the kerfuffle, Proview seems to be extending a small olive branch to Apple; Proview lawyer Xie Xianghui was indicated that no final decisions have been reached in the legal process, so both sides were “still able to sit together and reach an out-of-court settlement."
Apple doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to settle for the moment; with their win in Hong Kong last year and appeals still left in the mainland Chinese court system, Apple may feel that it’s greater amount of cash on hand gives it an advantage as the legal battle wears on. Apple also appears to be suffering a bit of Steve-Jobs-style righteous indignation, since it clearly believed it bought the name legally for China (and the rest of the world) in 2009.
Apple has also begun to demand that Proview provide evidence that they even produce and market a product called the IPAD in China, accusing the cash-strapped Chinese firm of being unable to field the product for which the trademark is supposed to cover.
It’s unclear though how much these arguments will help Apple in the end – the Chinese courts don’t always use the same measurements of trademark validity (e.g. if the trademark is actively being used) that Western courts apply. Likewise, their victory in Hong Kong may ultimately prove meaningless, as the Hong Kong legal system is separate from that of the Chinese mainland, and rulings of the Hong Kong courts have little legal status in the mainland courts.
Ultimately, if the Chinese courts rule that the Taiwanese subsidiary didn’t have the rights under mainland Chinese law to sell the Chinese rights to the IPAD, Apple will lose, even though they acted in good faith in their negotiations in 2009. If that happens, Apple will have to open up its vast checkbook at cut a deal to get itself out of this predicament, regardless of how unfair they might view such a solution.
Or else rebrand their tablet the Apple iSlate in the Chinese market. Have another idea for a Chinese iPad rebranding? Share your lighthearted responses with us in the comments section!
source: AP via The Register
15. -box- posted on 22 Feb 2012, 12:35 5 0
Good one, then they can sue Samsung for infringing on their naming scheme, even though Samsung had it first
2. speckledapple posted on 22 Feb 2012, 11:25 2 3
I may not like how Apple has used the courts in a similar way against other companies, but this is wrong hands down. If the company knowingly entered an agreement with Apple but now are back tracking in hopes of obviously getting more money and essentially using the courts to do so, its just wrong. This is why court systems all over are fractured. The use for something like this should be stopped.
3. squallz506 posted on 22 Feb 2012, 11:28 5 1
if apple was careless enough to not properly obtain the patent it is only apple's fault. only time will tell what the verdict or settlement will be.
7. Scott_H posted on 22 Feb 2012, 11:46 3 0
Speckle, I agree that would be wrong - the issue is whether the Taiwanese subsidiary of Proview actually had the legal footing to sell the Chinese trademark rights. This need to deal with more than one legal system in China is actually a common problem encountered by Western technology companies; it's why Google moved their servers back to Hong Kong after disputes with the Chinese government about hacking and censorship, and why some companies are loath to move offices into any part of China except Hong Kong.
In the end perhaps the Chinese courts will side with Apple; certainly a ruling against Apple that forces a huge settlement could put a damper on the enthusiasm of some companies to invest in mainland China. So we'll see; I just wanted to make clear that it's not one company that "tricked" Apple, it's one subsidiary that sold rights it though it had, but the mainland company is claiming the sale violated Chinese law. Maybe they're wrong, but they didn't make the sale themselves and turn around and change their minds, it was a separate business entity.
17. -box- posted on 22 Feb 2012, 12:36 3 1
This isn't the first time Apple has used a name without getting the owners' permission. See iCloud and iPhone for example.
They could just come up with new names for stuff that isn't being used...
4. Bluesky02 posted on 22 Feb 2012, 11:32 0 2
In end Apple will take out their final weapon and nuke Proview with it
5. galaxyisking posted on 22 Feb 2012, 11:39 8 4
"ijobsisburninginhell" pad has a nice ring to it... too soon?
8. fervid posted on 22 Feb 2012, 11:46 9 3
Apple demands to see an actual product sold there using that name, yet they have patents on things and ideas that didn't exist, some still don't exist, and others that already existed before their patent??? They need to start applying their logic on themselves.
12. squallz506 posted on 22 Feb 2012, 12:24 6 2
dude, apple is saying that proview should give up the rights to ipad b/c proview cant make one. it is only logic that apple should be subject to the same treatment. for example apple cant make a hydrogen fuel cell powered phone, but they have a patent on it. it is unfair of apple to try and push that agenda on proview when they dont honor it themselves.
14. iBeliever (banned) posted on 22 Feb 2012, 12:31 3 5
How many people is Apple suing for products they don't make?
16. squallz506 posted on 22 Feb 2012, 12:36 5 2
none they are trying to get proview to forfeit a patent worth hundreds of millions of dollars because proview hasnt made use of it. apple holds many patents that they cannot or will not use themselves. its the pot calling the kettle black.
26. pbui.818 posted on 22 Feb 2012, 19:12 2 0
13. jmoita2 posted on 22 Feb 2012, 12:28 3 1
Olive branch??? Give them the sword!!! it's the only language they know.
22. PAPINYC (limited) 4 days ago posted on 22 Feb 2012, 17:23 2 0
I wouldn't extend an 'Olive' pitt, let alone a whole branch.
19. johnnybe posted on 22 Feb 2012, 14:36 2 0
Call it the maxipad, and when they make a smaller version it can be the minipad!
23. downphoenix posted on 22 Feb 2012, 17:32 1 0
How about iPon? They could always switch from using Maxi Pads to Tampons.
29. roscuthiii posted on 23 Feb 2012, 06:17 0 0
I like the thought process there... but you know the Apple faithful would nickname it the iPwn. And then they'd go off on tirades about sales figures while claiming to be the creative type that "think different".