Apple's iPad trademark battle comes to US from China

Proview says Apple used deception and concealment to acquire the iPad trademark

Proview Electronics has brought its legal battle against Apple to the U.S., accusing the company of using deceptive practices to acquire the iPad trademark.

Proview is asking for damages and for Apple to permanently stop using the iPad trademark, according to documents filed with the Superior Court of California for the County of Santa Clara. Proview, which is struggling financially, is accusing Apple of fraudulently acquiring trademarks through a shell company called IP Application Development Ltd.

Proview is already in a protracted legal battle with Apple on the iPad trademark in China, and on Feb. 17 said the legal battle could spill over to the U.S.

Proview owns the iPad trademark in China and has asked courts there to bar Apple from selling the iPad tablet in the country. A Proview request for a legal injunction that would have forced Apple to halt iPad sales in its Shanghai stores was rejected earlier this week, while Proview won a battle in December in which a court in Shenzhen rejected Apple's claims to the iPad trademark. That decision is being appealed by Apple in the Guangdong provincial high court, with a hearing scheduled for next week.

Apple did not respond to requests for comment. According to the documents, the defendants listed include IP Application Development, a U.K. company that Proview alleged was established by Apple with the sole purpose of acquiring the trademark to use for the iPad tablet. The company name was "deliberately chosen" because its abbreviation is iPad, according to the court filing.

Apple acted with oppression, fraud and malice, Proview said in the court filing. Proview is also seeking to cancel an agreement that transferred the iPad trademark to IP Application Development in 2009.

Proview offered an Internet appliance called iPad after acquiring the trademark in several countries between 2000 and 2003. However, the company fell on rough financial times due to the global economic crisis and after two top customers, Polaroid and Circuit City, filed for bankruptcy in the second half of 2008, according to the court filing.

In 2009, Apple registered IP Application Development, which acquired the iPad trademark in December of that year for £35,000 (US$41,335) with the promise not to use it to compete against Proview's products. IP Application Development ultimately transferred the trademark to Apple, which launched the iPad to much fanfare in 2010.

Proview is accusing Apple of fraud and intentional misrepresentation of facts to acquire the trademark, according to the court filing.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?