In December 2011, a Chinese court had rejected Apple’s ownership of the iPad trademark in China in favor of Proview International, a large but relatively unknown Chinese monitor company.
Now Apple is appealing against that ruling, asking the courts to transfer the iPad trademark to it. Apple Inc is also asking for Proview to pay 4 million yuan as compensation for legal fees that have accrued.
Apple’s original lawsuit against the Proview noted that a Proview subsidiary in Taiwan had sold the iPad trademark rights to “IP Applications,” a UK-based company. Later, IP Applications sold the trademark rights to Apple in 2010. In December, a court in Shenzen, China ruled that the transfer of trademark rights was only done through the Taiwan subsidiary. The main corporation (also located in Shenzhen) was not in attendance at the trademark negotiations in Taiwan. Thus, the Chinese court stated that Proview did not formally transfer any trademark rights to Apple.
Apple’s new appeal has claimed that the Taiwanese subsidiary was acting as a representative for Proview’s mainland operations. On the other hand, Proview is saying that it has no such relationship with the Taiwan subsidiary and was never in talks with Apple about transferring the iPad trademarks.
It would be in Apple’s best interest to win the appeal and Apple must win. Proview has already filed a pair of lawsuits in Chinese courts against Apple and another vendor – Gome Electronics. Proview wants them to stop selling tablets using the iPad name.