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back to article China backs Proview in Apple iPad trademark war

A top Chinese official has said his government regards the IPAD trademark as the property of Shenzhen Proview Technology, piling extra pressure on Apple to settle over the alleged unauthorised use of the word. Yan Xiaohong, the deputy director of China's National Copyright Administration, told reporters in Beijing that the …

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Anonymous Coward

This is what happens when you do business in China.

Perhaps Apple now know what it feels like to be bent over a barrel.

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jai
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the shape of things to come?

The trouble is, if Apple, with all their huge big pile'o'cash and lawyers, can't win a case in China, what hope that any other western company have? It may be the biggest marketplace and so seem highly inviting to try and conquer, but China will always side with their own, whether it's a trademark case like this, or obvious imitations of existing products, like the one BMW lost.

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Anonymous Coward

>This is what happens when you do business in China.

Its what happens when you don't ask questions like 'does anyone else make something called iPad' and 'why don't we do a Trademark search outside of the US as well'.

Truth was Steve said 'we are calling it the iPad' and nothing else mattered....

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They didn't even search for US trademarks

I think they're motto is "infringe now, settle later".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the shape of things to come?

So what. I have no problem with that. Their country, their patent/trademark laws. I wish more countries would tell patent lawyers (or just Apple) to f**k off to be honest. Apple have made patent trolling their business and deserve everything they get - I only hope China prosecutes for breach of trademark and closes the Apple sweatshops down.

When I was a kid imitation was 'the highest form of flattery' - now it just means money for lawyers.

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Actually, they patently did do a trademark search outside the US and paid the people who the report said had the trademark a big wodge of cash. Just the people who the report said had the trademark (apparently) didn't actually have it, someone else in the company did. And they fell out with the first bunch.

If things had been as cut & dried as you seem to believe they were, it wouldn't have wrangled on for months on end.

One thing does make me laugh though - 'Yan Xiaohong, the deputy director of China's National Copyright Administration'

China has a National Copyright Administration? That must be the cushiest job ever....

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Re: the shape of things to come?

Quite so. Evidence suggests trading with China is pretty much giving away your IP whether you planned to or not.

A wise man said 'sometimes the only way to win the war is not to fight the battle'. You can forgo the profit of trade with China but keep your IP, or you can trade with them for short-term profit and they will end up eating your lunch. Guess which choice most western company executives will go for?

Jon

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FAIL

Nothing to do with China.

Apple were using dubious tricks to try and buy the name in the first place.

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/02/27/how-apple-snookered-proview-to-get-the-ipad-trademark/

Doesn't look good for Apple.....

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Anonymous Coward

>Actually, they patently did do a trademark search outside the US and paid the people who the report said had the trademark a big wodge of cash

Did Apple record this supposed Trademark Assignment in China? No.

Does Apple own the iPad Trademark in China? No.

Pretty simple really.

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Keep up

>Did Apple record this supposed Trademark Assignment in China? No.

The answer you're looking for is "yes".

>Does Apple own the iPad Trademark in China? No.

Actually, that's what the case is about; Apple looked for who owned the trademark, bought it off them and now the kerfuffle is about a third party who claims it was theirs all along. Things are made even more murky by the fact that the company claiming ownership is the parent of the company they bought it off.

In reality, this is probably more about Chinese government-owned banks trying to get back the ~$1bn they're owed by a now-bankrupt Proview.

I fully expect Apple to lose this, irrespective of any merits of either side's case or predictable anti-Apple posts on El Reg.

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Anonymous Coward

Chinese PIPA

I would like to see China extradite some Apple company bosses for trial over flagrant trademark abuse - heck it's what the US do if somebody abroad dares to breach copyright (or even link to stuff that MAY breach copyright) so I expect they would be in full support if China wanted this to happen - yes?

Surely the US would respect and support China in having and using their own version of PIPA/COICA to protect their companies from international abuse of IP?

Thought not.

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Anonymous Coward

To paraphrase

"The judge is yet to decide, but his decision will be as follows... However, if you give me a vigorous rubdown with thousand dollar bills, I may be able to exert some influence"

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Fair hearing in China?

Unlikely. Just ask BMW how well their X5 case went.

Did anyone actually think the Chinese government *wouldnt* side with one of their own companies???

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Coat

Ha ha

See title

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Anonymous Coward

"I only hope China prosecutes for breach of trademark and closes the Apple sweatshops down."

Yeah right and put all those people out of relatively well paid work - well done Einstein.

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Anonymous Coward

"China's National Copyright Administration"

Surely an oxymoron?

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Anonymous Coward

"Apple were using dubious tricks to try and buy the name in the first place."

Nothing dubious - just shrewd - I think most people would do the same.

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Re: Just shewd

Are you buying this name for Apple?

Oh no, not us, no

No, we want it for our own product, honest

Disembowel-Myself-Honorably Dibhalamy enterprises really needs this trade mark for ourselves.

Now, admittedly it was a pretty dumb thing to do in actually believing the front operation and not putting a restriction into the clause in the first place, that in the event of the trademark being offered to Apple that it would revert back to "... insert name here ..." for the original purchase price less any fees...

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Re: Just shewd @ Dazed

OP was right - this is shrewd practice to avoid gouging, which some suppliers are prone to trying once they know who they're supplying to.

For other examples, see Government defence contracts. £165 for a replacement ratchet spanner to can get from Halfords for £25? Ah, that'll be BAE...

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@Shrewd

The accusation in the US court case is that the front company were asked whether this was being acquired for Apple and they denied that it was. Hence the complain about the improper acquisition. Otherwise I'd agree with you that it was shrewd.

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Anonymous Coward

As far as I'm concerned if I buy something and the seller does not put specific conditions in the contract - what I do with it is up to me once the deal is done is my business?

iPad Ltd. should have bought it - sold it to OffTheShelfCompamy2011 Ltd. who then sell it to Apple Inc. - clean as a whistle.

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Anonymous Coward

No-one forced them to sell - it was their free choice and they should live with the consequences.

If I were to sell a domain name for instance - if I agree to £1000 and they go on to use it to launch their multi-billion pound product - so what?

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FAIL

Judging by the downvote distribution...

it sure is fanboi in here...

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