Apple Still Needs iPad Trademark for the Chinese Market

A suit sought by Apple in which they were hoping to gain control of the iPad trademark from the Shenzhen branch of Proview Electronics (Taiwan) was rejected by a court in Shenzhen; and because of the court’s decision, Apple may not be able to call their iPad an iPad in the Chinese mainland, and will only be able to do so if they pay the struggling Taiwan company a huge amount of money.

Apple was not able to show any proof that they obtained the trademark from Proview Technology (Shenzhen) who owned the rights to the trademark on the Chinese mainland and as a result, will be forbidden from using the iPad trademark in the mainland market. If Apple chooses not  to appeal the court’s decision, they may have to pay to buy the rights to use the trademark.

Apple’s revenue in China reached US$3.8 billion, mainly on sales of the iPhone and the iPad alone, in the third quarter, six times more than the same period last year.

Proview Electronics (Taiwan), a manufacturer of flat screens invested heavily in creating Proview Technology (Shenzhen)  and tried to launch a tablet computer that was called the I-Pad more than ten years ago. However, due to low market demand the project was scrapped and according to trademark databases, Proview was able to register the trademark in Europe, Mexico, China, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand between the year 2000 and 2004.

In 2006, Proview Electronics (Taiwan) sold the global trademark to a UK based company, IP Application Development (IPAD) for 35, 000 pounds. The company then transferred the trademark to Apple. However Proview Electronics (Taiwan) said that the trademark for the Chinese mainland was not included since Proview Technology (Shenzhen) held the trademark, not the Taiwan office.

Proview is now hoping to get the highest compensation that Apple can offer through the trademark case. Proview officials say that they are currently experiencing financial troubles and the trademark is their most valuable asset that can help them. Although both sides have been in negotiations for quite some time now, the question remains on how much Apple is willing to pay to obtain the Chinese mainland rights.

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