As lawsuits amp up, Proview extends olive branch to Apple

As lawsuits amp up, Proview extends olive branch to Apple
The legal brouhaha between Apple and Proview continues to escalate, as both sides engaged in a “heated” four hour hearing in Shanghai yesterday, where the judge reportedly had to repeatedly admonish both sides as the lawyers sometimes shouted across the courtroom at one another. Apple is also schedule to appeal last week’s loss in Guangdong province to the Guangdong High Court on February 29th.

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

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29 Comments

1. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

how about the Ipod Touch 9.7"?

15. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Good one, then they can sue Samsung for infringing on their naming scheme, even though Samsung had it first

18. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

iPod Touch XL? Or XXL?

24. pbui.818

Posts: 78; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

iPod Mega

27. Johnny_Mnemonic

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

giant mega I pod XXXXL

2. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

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

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

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

Posts: 167; Member since: Oct 28, 2011

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-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

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

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

In end Apple will take out their final weapon and nuke Proview with it

5. galaxyisking

Posts: 63; Member since: Nov 18, 2011

"ijobsisburninginhell" pad has a nice ring to it... too soon?

6. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

omgroflmao

9. thnkthru3

Posts: 73; Member since: Dec 25, 2011

Got a chuckle out of this one:-)

20. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Reported

21. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Backatcha

8. fervid

Posts: 183; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

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.

11. iBeliever

Posts: 33; Member since: Feb 21, 2012

You really don't get it do you?

12. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

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

Posts: 33; Member since: Feb 21, 2012

How many people is Apple suing for products they don't make?

16. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

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.

10. maier9900

Posts: 272; Member since: Dec 17, 2011

Call it iTab

26. pbui.818

Posts: 78; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

Apple iConia Apple iPlaybook Apple iSlate Apple iStreak Apple iGalaxyTab Apple iXperiaTablet Apple iTouchpad Apple iTransformer

13. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Olive branch??? Give them the sword!!! it's the only language they know.

22. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

I wouldn't extend an 'Olive' pitt, let alone a whole branch.

19. johnnybe

Posts: 23; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

Call it the maxipad, and when they make a smaller version it can be the minipad!

25. pbui.818

Posts: 78; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

That would be an Apple Mac C Pad

23. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

How about iPon? They could always switch from using Maxi Pads to Tampons.

29. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

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".

28. beefsupreme

Posts: 32; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

the iNfringing.

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