Apple will have to pay billions
While Apple has been attempting to assert its authority over Android with patent trolling, it seems that the organisation is about to be bought to its knees for stealing the name iPad.
Proview Technology, which currently uses the "iPad" name on several of its products such as computer monitors, stands to win $1.6 billion and an apology from Apple, the creator of the iPad tablet, for allegedly nicking the company's trademarked name. Apple could be fined anywhere from $38 million to the $1.6 billion that China-based Proview is seeking.
Proview owns subsidiaries in Shenzhen and Taiwan, and registered the name "iPad" in Taiwan and in mainland China in 2000 and 2001. Apple bought Proview's iPad trademark for $55,000 in 2009 via a company called IP Application Development, but that deal only applied to the trademark in Taiwan. To make matters worse Proview chairman Yang Rongshan said Proview did not know IP Application Development was connected to Apple. He said that it was a arrogant of Apple to just ignore his company rights and go ahead selling the iPad in China.
There is a reason that Proview is going for Apple. It is in big financial trouble and the trademarks are a valuable asset that could help the company out of it. Proview sued Apple in 2011, and Apple retaliated with a counter-suit of its own, arguing that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company was the rightful owner of the iPad trademark. However its legal team was completely routed.
"Their copy infringement is very clear," a Proview representative said. "The laws are still there, and they sell their products in defiance of laws. The more products they sell, the more they need to compensate."
Apple appealed the case, but the Xicheng district court administration claims the ruling is "still under investigation, so no official comments on the case can be made yet." It could mean that the iPad is shipped under a different name in China as Proview is probably not going to allow Apple to use the name.