Proview accuses Apple of fraud, unfair competition

“Proview, the Chinese company that is suing Apple to stop sales of the iPad in China, has updated its case against the Cupertino, Calif.-based company in the United States, amending its lawsuit to directly accuse the electronics giant of fraud and unfair competition,” Hayley Tsukayama reports for The Washington Post.

“According to Proview, Apple misrepresented itself in seeking to secure the ‘iPad’ trademark, buying the trademark from Proview in 2009 through a company Apple created called IP Application Development Ltd., or IPAD,” Tsukayama reports. “This is a slightly different issue than the one Proview is contesting in China, where the company says that the marks it sold don’t apply on the Chinese mainland. The Chinese case maintains there was no deal to transfer the mainland trademarks; the U.S. case seeks to invalidate any kind of deal between the two companies at all.”

Tsukayama reports, “It’s fairly common for large companies to do business through smaller firms, particularly when looking to buy something that would tip off plans for future business moves. What appears to be at issue here is that Apple’s agent said the company wanted the iPad trademark because it was an abbreviation of its name.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And, the law banning such a practice is?

Related articles:
Apple’s iPad trademark tactics in China ‘unusual,’ say experts – February 24, 2012
Apple iPad trademark case in Shanghai suspended; Proview injunction rejected – February 24, 2012
Proview sues Apple in the US, mass hilarity ensues – February 24, 2012
Proview files lawsuit in California against Apple over iPad trademark – February 24, 2012
Chinese court says Apple can continue selling iPads in Shanghai – February 23, 2012

39 Comments

      1. … and when people cry when Apple sues a small company like Pshyster, one only needs to point to ProView to show why Apple needs to sue even the smallest cloner, because in a dozen years, they may try to sue you for over $1B, using your creativity against you.

  1. Wow, I’m guessing China really wants to piss Apple off. China is going to revolt against Proview in the off-chance they win against Apple. Thanks Proview, no more iPads, all for your dumbass already sold name that you are guaranteed not to use for anything useful, and pissed off all 1 billion of it’s inhabitants.

  2. OK. Let me see if I have this straight:

    “According to Proview, Apple misrepresented itself in seeking to secure the ‘iPad’ trademark, buying the trademark from Proview in 2009 through a company Apple created called IP Application Development Ltd., or IPAD,”

    The wonderful lawyers go on to say, “…What appears to be at issue here is that Apple’s agent said the company wanted the iPad trademark because it was an abbreviation of its name.”

    IPAD was an abbreviation of the company’s name. The company was IP Application Development. Abbreviated as: IPAD.

    That has nothing to do with anything.

        1. The solution is obvious: Tim Cook calls this guy Rowell Yang and asks him what his assets and his debts are. Tim then says something like “I’ll buy you out for ten cents on the dollar of what you owe. Then you go to Venezuela and help Hugo Chavez. Leave me alone and never call me again.”

          Apple pays a few million and the case goes away and Hugo Chavez gets a new oil minister. Yang is never heard from again.

    1. “IP Application Development Ltd.”

      The acronym for this company would really be IPADL. That is what the courts should do to Proview. The judge should say, “I paddle you! I’m throwing your case out!”

      Additionally, the acronym IPAD is different from iPAD. One is clearly an ASSUMED short form of the acronym for one of the intermediaries involved the other is clearly related to an internet based devise (just as the original iMac emphasized that it was built for its internet connection).

  3. Those issues are more than “slightly different.” For one, they say the sale was valid but we sneaked it an exclusion for China, and for the other the sale wasn’t valid. It’s like arguing my dog bit you because you trespassed, but then, I don’t have a dog. In a US court this is a sign of total desperation, but Chinese law is a corrupt Communist bureaucracy.

  4. Proview affirms they sold the iPad trademark to apple except apple cannot use it in China. AFAIK Proview only “owns” (or “owned”) the trademark in China. So Proview sold something they don’t own. Can’t Proview be acused of fraud under these grounds?

  5. It is simple:
    What would have been the cost of the trademark if Apple had bought it directly? 10, 100 millions?

    I remember when Apple brought the brand “Classic” from a person in Florida and payed him one million to use it in the Macintosh Classic.

    Shit happens®

  6. Apple will very shortly file a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim upon which Relief can be Granted.

    IOW, the Proview dumb*sses can’t even file a lawsuit with a legal claim in it.

  7. So, exactly what fraud was committed? They had a name to sell, and Apple purchased it from them, a simple exchange for cash. Once the sale is consummated, the seller’s rights are done. It doesn’t matter what the buyer said he wanted the name for, or how he planned to use it. Proview accepted the money. Deal done. This case should be thrown out in court. Sounds like amateur hour seller’s remorse. Too bad.

  8. It’s sneaky and it’s underhanded, but I don’t see how it’s fraud. If I buy something, I’m not legally required to disclose what I plan to do with it.

    ——RM

    1. ” If I buy something, I’m not legally required to disclose what I plan to do with it.”

      Then why is it “sneaky and underhanded” if Apple (or anyone else) does it?

      1. Because Apple LIED. And when someone lies it’s “sneaky and underhanded.” I learned that when I was a toddler. What happened to ethics and character in this country? Everybody’s a frickin lawyer. “If it’s not illegal, it must be OK.” B.S.

      2. You do realize that something can be underhanded without being illegal, don’t you? Ethics don’t begin and end with the law.

        That said, I don’t fault Apple for using the tactics they did. I don’t believe the same ethics apply to negotiations between two corporations as do for people. It’s less personal, more business, and business should be expected to be cutthroat.

        ——RM

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