Apple triumph in Shanghai: Proview take the fight to the US

Researching and writing all these lawsuit articles, I strongly believe that I will have a Law degree by the end of the year. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the current situation surrounding Apple, China, Proview and the iPad, but I’d just like to bring us all onto the same page:

  1. Proview (Taiwan) sold a portfolio of IPAD trademarks to a British company a few years back, this included two China trademarks
  2. The British company sold the portfolio on to Apple for $16, we’ll get to that in a second.
  3. Proview (Shenzhen) did not transfer the China trademarks mentioned above after the deal.
  4. Apple sued Proview (Shenzhen), but lost this case, Apple appealed, and that case is due to be decided on February 29, Apple continued to sell the iPad in China
  5. Proview began requesting authorities in charge of trademark infringement to do something about Apple selling the iPad in China. This lead to iPad’s being seized in some parts of the country that we reported last week. Some cities like Beijing and Shanghai are still investigating the matter
  6. A Guangdong court issued a judgement last week that one local retailer was infringing on the iPad trademark, and so they were ordered to cease sales and pay damages. This isn’t important however, it’s an incredibly insignificant city, and the ruling doesn’t affect Apple or any other retailers. Proview saw an opportunity to get one over on Apple and took it.
  7. The case in Shanghai, the one this article refers to, began yesterday.

I’m glad we’ve got that out of the way. Now, onwards.

Proview’s preliminary injunction against Apple has been rejected by the Shanghai court, which means that Apple can go on selling the iPad in Shanghai stores for now. In an evaluation of the case I looked at all the arguments, and the score wound up 5 – 2 in favor of Apple, I expected that the outcome would mirror this, and it did. The hearing has been postponed until the appeal mentioned in point no. 4 above is decided.

Thank goodness! Now we are only awaiting the decision of one lawsuit right? Wrong.

Proview has filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of California in Santa Clara County. It was filed on February 17, but hasn’t been reported until now for some reason. So what’s it all about? Remember point no. 2 above? A couple of days ago I mentioned that this may or may not come back to bite Apple where it hurts, it looks like we were right. Proview Taiwan sold the iPad portfolio to a British company named IP Application Development. IPAD. See what they did there? The sale was made for $55,000, and the next day, IP Application Development sold the portfolio to Apple for a massive $16 and then vanished. Proview is claiming that by doing this Apple committed fraud.

In emails seen by The Wall Street Journal, a representative purportedly of IP Application Development told Proview that it wanted to acquire the iPad name because it was an abbreviation of its company’s title, and that its future products wouldn’t compete with Proview’s products. (9to5 Mac)

Well that was a lie wasn’t it? I firmly believe that this is the only legal footing Proview has in the whole debacle, and so this if probably the pivotal lawsuit for both companies. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes, especially with Proview playing away from home, right in Cupertino’s back yard.

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