China higher court hears Apple’s iPad trademark appeal

“Lawyers for Apple Inc. argued for its right to use the iPad trademark in China on Wednesday, as a higher court began a crucial hearing that could result in sales of the wildly popular tablet computer being halted throughout the Chinese mainland,” Lee Chyen Yee and Huang Yuntao report for Reuters.

“The Higher People’s Court of Guangzhou is hearing an appeal by the U.S. firm after a lower court ruled in favour of debt-laden Chinese tech company Proview Technology (Shenzhen), which says it owns the trademark in China,” Yee and Yuntao report. “‘The value of iPad’s trademark rocketed after Apple launched the tablet computer in January 2010,’ a lawyer for Apple told the court. ‘In the eyes of the consumer, iPad is associated with Apple. If the court decides that Proview wins the case, then this will confuse consumers and hurt their interests.'”

Yee and Yuntao report, “The verdict of the higher court — which is not expected immediately — is usually final under Chinese law, and will set a precedent for other cases in lower courts around China… Lawyers said a final decision by the high court could take weeks, if not months.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Storm in a teacup.


    1. If Apple loses, they will pull out of china, which will hurt the chinese people – there is such a high demand for jobs. Chinese people will still acquire iPads online. and Proview will be hated by the Chinese public for years to come.

    2. If I were Apple, I would let Foxconn CEO pick up telephone and call communist party chief of Guangdong and say a million jobs is in the line. Condition is that proview will be squashed like a bug and its owner and lawyer will be landed behind the bar.

  1. I’ll give China some kudos for the speed of their court system. Of course, it may be that their decision is idiotic on this but compared to here in the U.S. this thing has been as snappy as a 10.x.5 update!

  2. I think the fallacy in Proviews argument is that the trademark had little value before apple made their product and associated the name with it (after purchasing it from pro-view under another name)
    Proview was paid a fair price for what it was worth at the time apple purchased it. Though I am not familiar with Chinese law, you are not entitled to gains made in the value of an entity AFTER you sold it.
    For pro-view to argue that they were “tricked” and that the name is worth much more NOW is just silly. The only reason it is worth any more than they were paid by apple is because apple has subsequently associated a fantastically popular product with it.
    They are simply not automatically entitled to the fruits of apple’s hard work, after the fact.

  3. Nationalism and corruption could be the deciding factors here as many have stated previously. It’ll be interesting to see if the jobs Apple provides to the Chinese are more important than nationalistic pride and graft.

    1. Not just the jobs Apple provides. It would be a lesson to anyone doing business in China that:

      1. A deal is not a deal in China.
      2. Contracts and patents mean nothing in China.
      3. The Chinese are thieves.
      4. Doing anything in China, or with the Chinese as a partner is foolish and costly.

      On the other hand, if that’s the way things are in China then the US should say, “Debt? What debt? We don’t owe you any money. You say you have securities? We’ve decided those are worthless. Have a nice day.”

  4. Apple should follow the lead of the musician Prince. They can change the iPad to the apple symbol, say that it is an unpronounceable glyph (at least in China), and the media can call it the “apple tablet formerly known as the iPad”.

    After Proview is carved up and disappears during bankruptcy, in a few years Apple can go back to calling it the iPad.

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