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Apple finally talks, says Proview refuses to honor agreement to transfer iPad trademark

Numerous online stores in China took the iPad off their shelves after Proview said Apple was breaking its trademark on the term “iPad.” The fight continues in court, but Apple released a statement today to China Daily about Proview’s allegations on Apple allegedly breaking the trademark.

“We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple, and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter,” according to the statement, which also said the case is still pending on the Chinese mainland.”

Apple said it purchased Proview’s iPad trademark over several years ago in 10 different countries. Proview is refusing to transfer the trademark, but Hong Kong courts have already sided with Apple, according to the statement.

Many accuse the Mainland Chinese government of favoring local companies in these types of matters, so it may not be easy to clear this hurdle for Apple. Chinese customs already said the iPad is too powerful to be banned; although, Proview tried to block iPads from coming in or going out of China earlier this week.

Proview countered the Hong Kong situation:

“Apple is worried the iPad trademark will be resold before the hearing is finished, so itasked the Hong Kong court to forbid Proview Shenzhen from doing that,” he said,adding that the court’s decision to prevent the trademark from being transferred cannot be seen as showing that it has ruled in favor of Apple.

“The root cause of the dispute is Apple’ underestimation of the legal complications inChina,” the lawyer said, adding the case also serves as a warning to companies inChina to think twice about risks before “going abroad”.
If Apple can’t prove that Proview didn’t honor its agreement to transfer the name, Apple will likely settle for somewhere significantly south of the $1.5B that Proview wants for the name or simply choose another name for the iPad in China.

Yu said the sale of Apple’s products, including the iPad, would not be affected by the lawsuit because customers primarily care about quality.

WSJ further added that Apple asked Amazon China to remove iPads from the online retailer’s website:

The Cupertino, Calif., consumer electronics giant asked Amazon in China to stop selling iPads because it is not an authorized reseller, according to people familiar with the matter. Amazon has since removed iPads offered by other resellers on its Chinese website as well.

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