May 9, 2012
California Sticks By Their Man, Rejects Proview’s Suit Against Apple
Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com
Yesterday, news was released about a California judge who threw out Proview Electronics´ suit against Apple over the iPad trademark in China. Judge Mark Pierce from the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara County actually approved Apple´s motion to dismiss the suit on May 4th, but the order hadn´t been disclosed until May 8th.
Proview has been fighting Apple over the trademark in China since 2010 and this past February brought the fight onto American soil, saying Apple deceived them when they bought the rights to the trademark in 2009. In response to a Chinese court´s request, Apple has offered a settlement with Proview.
Apple was able to have the US case thrown out of court on the grounds that the parties had already agreed to settle these disagreements in Hong Kong.
Judge Pierce sided with Apple, saying in court documents that Proview hadn´t provided any evidence that settling their issues in Hong Kong was “unreasonable or unfair.”
In response to this news, an Apple spokeswoman held fast to their claim as the rightful owners of the iPad trademark, saying, “Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China."
Chris Evans, a US lawyer for Proview, said in a statement the decision to dismiss this case in the States "was not based on the merits of the case."
"We are looking forward to presenting the facts in the case to the appellate court, and we are confident that the facts will show that Apple fraudulently obtained the iPad trademarks," the statement said.
The fight between Proview and its many entities has been on-going ever since the iPad first released in 2010 to much commercial success.
In 2009, Apple approached Proview to purchase the iPad trademark from Proview Taiwan using a special purpose company named “IP Application Development” (or IPAD), saying they needed the name to protect the name of their business.
At the time, the struggling Proview had no qualms selling off the trademark, letting it go for a mere $55,000. Once Proview saw how much success Apple was having with their tablet, they began to seek legal action, saying the original trademark really belonged to Proview Shenzhen, and to have full rights to them, Apple must shell out $10 million.
Proview is now going for blood, calling on Chinese courts to halt the export, import or sale of any iPad in China which violates the trademark.
Should the US suit had gone through, Proview would have asked for similar restrictions to be applied in America, prohibiting Apple to sell iPads in America or even ship them from China.
Apple hasn´t been as lucky in China and as such, have offered a settlement solution to Proview. According to Chinese news source Xinhua, Proview´s lawyer for the Chinese case Xie Xianghui has said, "We feel that the attitude of Apple Inc. has changed. Although they expressed that they were willing to negotiate, they have never taken any action before. But now, they are having conversations with us, and we have begun to consult on the case.”