Apple Doesn't Own the iPad Trademark in China

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Apple Doesn't Own the iPad Trademark in China

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Someone is selling knock-off iPads in China. Odd thing is; according to the Chinese courts, it's Apple.

It turns out that Apple does not, in fact, own the trademark for the iPad name in China. A Chinese company called Proview Technologies filed for the iPad trademark back at the turn of the century. At some point they sold the rights to a firm in the UK, who promptly sold them to Apple. The problem is; the original sale did not include in the Chinese trademark rights. That means Apple has been selling the iPad in Chinese territories in violation of Chinese trademark law.

Proview Technology are, quite naturally, taking legal action to protect their trademark. They're seeking 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) in compensation from Apple for, heh, copyright infringement.

Despite its reputation for being a counterfeiter's equivalent of Disneyland, China is one of the largest tech markets, and the largest smartphone market, in the world. Losing access to that market, even temporarily, could be a huge blow to Apple.

Source: Reuters

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Shouldnt it be the UK country who they sold the rights to that can sue

I bet Samsung are wetting themselves right now.

Spacewolf:
Shouldnt it be the UK country who they sold the rights to that can sue

No, because Proview never sold the Chinese rights to them.

All I have to say is.....HA! hahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaha! I mean really? REALLY? Apple didn't think to check the fine print in the agreement with the UK firm and make certain something like this didn't pop up? Even Santa checks the list twice!

There's a billion dollar "whoopsie" if I ever saw one. But hey I suppose it can happen to anyone.

That's so awesome!

I mean, sucks for Apple I guess (though they should have checked first!) but wow, that's pretty awesome that this can even happen.

So, Apple is getting sued, for copyright infringement, in China.

There is nothing about this that isn't hilarious.

Grey Carter:

Proview Technology are, quite naturally, taking legal action to protect their trademark. They're seeking 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) in compensation from Apple for, heh, copyright infringement.

Ah China, how you abuse the concepts of Capitalism to such amusing ends.

...........Oh SNAP!!!

Seriously, what else can be said? Except rofl of course.

Wow, copyright is screwy in China.

This will be a tough court battle for Apple, and because I not completely nothing about business law at all(or whatever law applies here) I am going to say that it is possible that Apple can win! But I hope they don't because I don't like them.

I'm not sure if this is Apple's inattentiveness or their arrogance that led to this. Either way, Apple getting sued for copyright infringement in China is quite...

*puts on sunglasses*

iRonic

They really trademarked the name "iPad" back in 2000? Before the iPod made it popular to put "i" in front of things?

Gatx:
They really trademarked the name "iPad" back in 2000? Before the iPod made it popular to put "i" in front of things?

You know, Cisco Systems had the rights to the name iPhone back in 1999 as well. This was a full two years before Apple Grandmaster Marketing Icon Steve Jobs even announced the iPod.

Spacewolf:
Shouldnt it be the UK country who they sold the rights to that can sue

No. They sold the rights to a UK firm.

That firm sold the rights to Apple. All legal.

HOWEVER, the Chinese Proview did NOT sell the rights in Chinese territory. So it means that Apple has been violating Proview Technology's rights. Not the UK firm. They haven't done anything wrong.

Absolutionis:
Either way, Apple getting sued for copyright infringement in China is quite...

*puts on sunglasses*

iRonic

I think it's safe to say this has been the best post in this thread.

What is this I don't even. Seriously, this is probably the most hilariously unfortunate thing I've ever read.

It's just a name anyways. Can't Apple just call it the "眼 棉塞" and be fine with it all? All that matters is the Apple Logo anyways.

In soviet China, Apple gets sued for copyright infringiment!

Absolutionis:

Gatx:
They really trademarked the name "iPad" back in 2000? Before the iPod made it popular to put "i" in front of things?

You know, Cisco Systems had the rights to the name iPhone back in 1999 as well. This was a full two years before Apple Grandmaster Marketing Icon Steve Jobs even announced the iPod.

Apple introduced the iMac in 1998.

Heads are going to roll in Apple's legal department. They have more than enough guys who are supposed to make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen.

Trademark law is what it is. I don't think Apple can do much about it.

Absolutionis:
It's just a name anyways. Can't Apple just call it the "眼 棉塞" and be fine with it all? All that matters is the Apple Logo anyways.

I thank you, fellow forum user, for teaching me how to spell 'tampon' in chinese.

Ehehehe, Apple...
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I mean, basically what this person said:

Doom972:
Heads are going to roll in Apple's legal department. They have more than enough guys who are supposed to make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen.

Surely Apple should have a bunch of guys who were supposed to check for this kind of stuff. And man, I do not envy those people right now. >_>

LMAO, I guess there'll be a few copyright lawyers out of work soon. It's also ironic that most of the iJunk that comes from Apple is even made there.

Haha, it was only a matter of time before someone in China forgot about capitalism and tried that corporatist bullshit, haha. More power to them.

Absolutionis:
I'm not sure if this is Apple's inattentiveness or their arrogance that led to this. Either way, Apple getting sued for copyright infringement in China is quite...

*puts on sunglasses*

iRonic

you mean Trademark infringement, it is a whole different beast than copyright infringement.

It hard to tell without looking at the actual sales contracts, which will remain private to actually know if Apple truly was infringing. Especially when the contracts are in several different language. I know a lot of foreign companies add clauses to the foreign translations just to screw over other companies. This happens even in the game industry. I know an Australian game studio who were in business with the Austrian game publisher. The game studio got the rights to a US companies' Intellectual Property. The publisher sent two copies of contracts to the game studio:one in English and one in German. The German contract was suppose to be an exact translation of the English contract, but they had put in there that the publisher claim the rights to the US IP. After the game fell behind schedule, the publisher backed out. When the studio went to get a new publisher, they were told they didn't have the rights the IP to the game anymore. Eventually the courts found that the contract was invalid making the publisher pay out ten million(euros?), but that was years after the game studio had closed.

Baldr:

Absolutionis:
I'm not sure if this is Apple's inattentiveness or their arrogance that led to this. Either way, Apple getting sued for copyright infringement in China is quite...

*puts on sunglasses*

iRonic

you mean Trademark infringement, it is a whole different beast than copyright infringement.

You can blame Mr. Carter for confusing people, since the article says "copyright infringement" as well. It's a common mistake on The Escapist, sadly.

Not that that would've stopped China from ripping it off anyway.

That is interesting to say the least.

Gotta love that Chinese "robber economy" at work.
China made their own rules explicitly so they could break those of everyone else, and the hilarious thing, is that everyone else *agreed to it*.

Had that not been so, then Apple wouldn't be looking at a billion dollar fine for selling something THEY DESIGNED AND BUILT.

And people wonder where America's money went...

Steve Jobs must be spinning in his grave.

Atmos Duality:
Gotta love that Chinese "robber economy" at work.
China made their own rules explicitly so they could break those of everyone else, and the hilarious thing, is that everyone else *agreed to it*.

Had that not been so, then Apple wouldn't be looking at a billion dollar fine for selling something THEY DESIGNED AND BUILT.

And people wonder where America's money went...

Steve Jobs must be spinning in his grave.

[sarcasm]But Apple's not cool, so that makes it okay![/sarcasm]

Aeshi:

Atmos Duality:
Gotta love that Chinese "robber economy" at work.
China made their own rules explicitly so they could break those of everyone else, and the hilarious thing, is that everyone else *agreed to it*.

Had that not been so, then Apple wouldn't be looking at a billion dollar fine for selling something THEY DESIGNED AND BUILT.

And people wonder where America's money went...

Steve Jobs must be spinning in his grave.

[sa]But Apple's not cool, so that makes it okay![/sa]

Sarcasm? I genuinely don't know what else the fake '[sa]' tags might be.
(Something Awful was the second thing to spring to mind)

Well this is just damn hilarious.

This is bull shit. I'm so sick of China's continued shenanigans.

Grey Carter:

Despite its reputation for being a counterfitter's equivalent of Disneyland...

Counterfeiter.

/Pedantry.

dubious_wolf:
This is bull shit. I'm so sick of China's continued shenanigans.

I know right! How dare they make their own laws in their own country! Why, I ought to go out there and make them hang the American flag, because screw them and their thousand year history!
/sarcasm

An oversight by the UK firm in buying these trademarks off a Chinese company caused all of this. I doubt blaming China and their cra~zy laws is going to solve anything.

Incidentally, how's that continued battle over the first one to copyright rectangles going?

Dooly95:

dubious_wolf:
This is bull shit. I'm so sick of China's continued shenanigans.

I know right! How dare they make their own laws in their own country! Why, I ought to go out there and make them hang the American flag, because screw them and their thousand year history!
/sarcasm

An oversight by the UK firm in buying these trademarks off a Chinese company caused all of this. I doubt blaming China and their cra~zy laws is going to solve anything.

Incidentally, how's that continued battle over the first one to copyright rectangles going?

I think what he meant was, that Chinese companies continue to violate copyright and trademark from western products, and the Chinese government keeps protecting them so we can't sue them.

If it was the other way around, if some Chinese company would start selling Apple-copied products, any legal action from our side would fall into deaf ears.
But if Apple makes a mistake, the Chinese use our legal system -which they completely ignore if it suits them- to sue Apple...

TheBelgianGuy:

Dooly95:

dubious_wolf:
This is bull shit. I'm so sick of China's continued shenanigans.

I know right! How dare they make their own laws in their own country! Why, I ought to go out there and make them hang the American flag, because screw them and their thousand year history!
/sarcasm

An oversight by the UK firm in buying these trademarks off a Chinese company caused all of this. I doubt blaming China and their cra~zy laws is going to solve anything.

Incidentally, how's that continued battle over the first one to copyright rectangles going?

I think what he meant was, that Chinese companies continue to violate copyright and trademark from western products, and the Chinese government keeps protecting them so we can't sue them.

If it was the other way around, if some Chinese company would start selling Apple-copied products, any legal action from our side would fall into deaf ears.
But if Apple makes a mistake, the Chinese use our legal system -which they completely ignore if it suits them- to sue Apple...

Yes I meant this. Thank you for stating it more clearly and eloquently.

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