back to article Apple and Proview in talks to end IPAD dispute

After several months, a few false dawns and lots of waiting, the trademark stand-off between Apple and Proview over the use of the IPAD name in China may finally be nearing an end, according to new reports which claim settlement talks have begun. Xie Xianghui, a lawyer with failed monitor and LED lighting biz Proview, is quoted …

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Pirate

>Proview has since declared war on Apple in its back yard, by filing a lawsuit in the US alleging it was deceived into selling the rights after Cupertino hid its role in the purchase by using an intermediary firm registered in the UK.<

I thought this was what copyright was designed to do, reward the creator for the act of creation, ie Proview for coming up with the name 'ipad'. Trying to screw the creator by pretending to be a small firm with no financial mountain smacks of deceit and attempts to cheat the creator out of a fair deal, or, you could say, Apple were being pirates in Hollywood's eyes.

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Anonymous Coward

Proview didn't have to sell the name...They only sold it because they thought the price was right.

This way they could discuss a fsir price instead of some ridiculously over-inflated figure, ie no one was screwing anyone else.

This also avoided the pesky problem of someone finding out and breaking Apple's future plans.

It's also how the entire business world buys trademarks, they'd be idiots to do otherwise. But apparently, for some people, common business practices are only bad when Apple does them.

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Anonymous Coward

It's shrewd - that's all - if someone knew the seller was Apple the price would just go up.

The other problem with this is doesn't it seem at all 'iffy' that one part of Proview sold the name (with the other part knowing) and NOW they say only the other part had rights to sell it?

Of course the Chinese government want to help it's own companies but equally Apple is a massive employer - so their role in this should be impartial.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Crucial difference

Buying something through a third party to get a good price is legal.

Selling something you had no rights to sell is fraud.

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Silver badge

Thing is, 'Proview' isn't a company, it's a collection of assets owned largely by their creditors, the main one being BoC, who are largely owned by the government, who 100% own the judiciary.

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Anonymous Coward

question

while the name 'iPad' is the one they are having a problem with, does the copyright on the name 'iPad' prevent Apple from making a new product called 'New iPad'?

the copyright name is for the single word 'iPad', does that mean that the owner of the copyright can prevent anyone from releasing a product that contain the word? Which would also means that Microsoft can prevent anyone from using 'Windows' as part of their software name? (if they wanted to)

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Re: question

That has happened - Microsoft took Lindows to court a few years back based on the similarity in name. Can't remember what happened eventually but the court did rule that the word 'Windows' is a generic, in common usage separate from the software product, and can't be trademarked.

iPad, on the other hand, would not be in common usage if Apple had not brought the iPad to market.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: question

Yes, names/logos/etc can't be too similar.

"iPad" is easier to protect than "Windows" since the latter is somewhat of a generic term that is also used extensively in computing.

That doesn't stop Microsoft throwing a few hundred lawyers onto you if you try, though. (see "Microsoft v. Lindows" court case)

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Anonymous Coward

Proview were happy to sell for £35k - it's only later and they realise that Apple ended up with the trademark that they realise they sold it cheap. But did they - they sold it legally a that price - no-one had a gun to their head.

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Anonymous Coward

"no-one had a gun to their head."

if I remember the complain correctly, Apple's 'intermediate' company have threatened to sue the Proview if it refused to sale them the 'iPad' name. Proview claim that they feared a lengthy lawsuit, so they sold the name cheap.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 07:24

Source? That's rubbish.

Proview had the iPad trademark prior to the shell company even existing. Also, Proview feared a lawsuit from a small unknown company, really?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 07:24

source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/28/proview_apple_ipad_deceit/

"The filing alleges that after first being rebuffed, Robinson then threatened legal action to cancel Proview’s trademarks, coercing the financially struggling firm into accepting the £35,000 he had previously offered."

also, I used the word "claim" to describe Proview's fear of the lawsuit, not that it matters.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 07:24

That's quoted from the Proview press release, who - as the article says - "appears to be stepping up its media campaign ". Is that statement true, or even in the actual court filing? Probably not.

Again I can't see how a largish Taiwanese company with a trademark registered before and used in a previous product can be afraid of some small unknown product-less UK company "cancelling" their trademark.

Trademarks can only be cancelled due to due to abandonment, improper use, or if they are too generic. The latter two options clearly don't apply.

Abandonment is only considered if the trademark isn't used for 3+ years. According to the Wall Street Journal, ProView spent $30 million marketing the device and produced between 10 to 20,000 a year between 1998 and 2009.

So in late 2009 when the deal was made the trademark would surely not be a candidate for abandonment and Proview would have nothing to worry about.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 07:24

If it was still in use why were they happy to do a deal to sell it for just £35k?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "no-one had a gun to their head."

You make out like Proview are some one man band 'scared' into selling it.

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Headmaster

Re: "no-one had a gun to their head." @ AC: 09:22

that is how they are making themselves to appear; not how I think of them. The case is still in court, so you and I will have to wait and see.

To many ACs in this thread

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 07:24

> If it was still in use why were they happy to do a deal to sell it for just £35k?

Taking the figures from that WSJ article Proview were spending more on development and marketing than they made in sales of those 20K "iPads" they sold each year.

£35000 for a loss-making brand must have sounded great at the time.

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