Companies fighting over trademark rights
A lawsuit is filed against a Shenzhen computer screen manufacturer by Apple Inc. over ownership of the iPad trademark. Apple wants the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court to confirm ownership of the exclusive rights for the trademark and is demanding the manufacturer to pay all legal cost of 2 million yuan.
Proview Technology Shenzhen Co. have argued that Apple has no right in using the trademark on the mainland since the trademark belongs to the company in Shenzhen and not the parent company which is located in Taiwan. Proview in Shenzhen also argued that Proview in Taiwan have no right in selling the rights to use the trademark in the mainland since they are both different companies. Apple paid 35,000 pounds to Proview International Holdings in Taiwan for trademark rights in 2006, but didn’t obtained the trademark rights from the Shenzhen branch.
Apple argued that trademark rights for the mainland was included in the deal sign by the chairman of Proview International on December 2009. The company promised that the ownership for the trademark rights for the mainland will be transferred to Apple.
Proview Technology Shenzhen said it was a mistake to lead Apple to believe that the trademark rights belong to the parent company, since they are two different companies each with different structures and registrations. Since they were in different jurisdictions of laws, Proview International definitely had no right in selling the trademark. A lawyer from Shenzhen also said it was fraud for Apple to buy a Shenzhen Company trademark from a Taiwan company.