Apple may have to face the fact that they could end up having to pay a lot of money to a Taiwanese owned company. The company Apple has just lost a trademark lawsuit to is called Proview Technology. Proview tried selling tablet computers back in 2000 and registered IPAD trademarks in the EU, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, China, Mexico and Vietnam.
Apple cleaned up the issue all the way back in the year 2006 when it paid Proview Technology for ownership of the global trademarks. The bickering started when the companies disagreed whether the Chinese trademark was included in the package that Apple bought from Proview in 2006.
The reality of the issue came to bite Apple when China’s trademark institution rejected Apple’s application for trademark on the iPad. Why did they reject the iPad trademark application? The Chinese Trademark office stated that Proview Technology still owned the patent. Apple’s decision was to sue Proview Technology because they believed they purchased the rights to the global trademark in 2006.
Apple’s lawsuit didn’t work out very well for the American company as the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court rejected the suit against Proview. Apple still has a chance to appeal but is in a tough position since it has over 6 Apple stores in China. The stores are taking off for Apple and helping Apple combat the counterfeit stores that have been spreading throughout the business centers of China. It could be detrimental to Apple’s growing business if it is not able to sell iPad’s in China because of these rulings.
According to CNET Apple is now facing a potential $1.5 billion countersuit filed by Proview. The only solution is the appeals process doesn’t work ou for Apple could be to rebrand it’s tablet in China and other countries they don’t have trademarks in. This could create a disparity in the brand with different products names representing virtually the same product line.