Apple paid $60 million, but still might not own iPad trademark in China

“Things are always complicated when the lawyers get involved but this saga of Apple, Proview and the rights to the iPad name in China seems to have one more twist left in it,” Tim Worstall reports for Forbes. “For the lawyers are suing to have the trademark delivered to them rather than to Apple that has just paid for it.”

Chinese law firm Grandall has submitted an ‘asset protection application’ to the Shenzhen Yantian District People’s Court requesting that the court temporarily seize the China iPad trademark as part of Grandall’s lawsuit against Shenzhen-based display device manufacturer Proview Technology, a subsidiary of Proview International Holdings. The seizure could affect the transfer of the trademark to Apple.

Worstall reports, “So, what the law firm has done is tried to have the IPAD trademark assigned to itself until it gets paid. Quite how much Proview cares about this I’m not sure. As they’re bankrupt there’s not a great deal that anyone can do to get the $60 million back from them. And quite what the law firm’s end game is I’m not sure either. If the trademark is assigned to them what happens next? Do they sue Apple again for violating the trademark owned now by the law firm? Hope Apple will help them out by coughing up the fees?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple already paid off the extortionists to the tune of $60 million in what seems like an exasperated, let’s-end-this-idiocy move. Regardless of the shenanigans in Chinese courtrooms, Apple most definitely should not, under any circumstances, pony up another $2.4 million to pay off the extortionists’ tools.

Related articles:
Proview sued by law firm who squeezed Apple for $60 million over iPad trademark in China – July 23, 2012
Apple wins major victory in China, ends iPad trademark fracas – July 2, 2012
Apple settles China iPad trademark dispute for $60 million – July 2, 2012


  1. So you’ve found out how to use the caps lock key. Impressive. Care to show us if you can find your ass with both hands, without a set of instructions?

    1. OK, now that you’ve proved your “superiority” to the previous MDN poster, inkblot, you can take your meds, lie down on the couch, and watch a couple of “Gilligan Island” reruns. Life is ‘way too short to jump on a fellow writer like that; he, like many (MANY) of us, is very passionate about this issue and, henc, used his keyboard accordingly.

      Kudos, x. Nice job.

  2. Apple shouldn’t have initially paid $60 million, this only encouraged greed. Surely, as the thinking goes, “If Apple was willing to pay $60 million Apple can afford another mere $2.4 million.”

    1. That may very well be what they are thinking. What I think, however, is that any law firm that is working for a near-bankrupt company should be smart enough to get their commission before the settlement is handed over to said company. But they didn’t, so they lose. Game over, Grandall.

  3. Completely agree! Those tool
    lawyers, who are American lawyers who are dispicably attacking a great American company, should not be paid anything. That will teach them to get cozy with a communist country in order to attack a great American company such as Apple.

    1. Thats as Jobs once suggested himself. The current strategy probably won’t work because law in China is probably deliberately construed so as to bleed to death the number one company on earth, an American one even better.

  4. This is ridiculous. There should not be any delay in transferring the rights to the name, but the court could freeze payments out to creditors until the law firm gets paid. And yes, this law firm should get paid its full fee before the other creditors.

    Why? Because without this law firm, Proview would have $60 million less to pay out to the other creditors.

    Yes, Apple got taken (or its lawyers didn’t do their job properly and should expect a claim to be filed on their malpractice policy), but Proview’s lawyers did their job very well and should be paid for it. But there’s no reason to hold up Apple’s rightful iPad trademark ownership.

    1. Yeah this is an inappropriate legal consequence of Apple paying blood money to receive it’s iPad name rights in court. The lawyers receiving payment has little to do with it and the judicial application that resulted. It is a totally separate matter that Apple has nothing to do with nor should be blackmailed over. Apple is not responsible for Proview’s legal obligations or paying their legal fees unless the court stipulated otherwise. If a Chinese court sees different after the fact then yes, the justice system there is a sorry joke. Just because someone can pay (like Apple) doesn’t mean they should.

    1. You can bet Apple Legal won’t ever make this same securing rights issue mistake again. Would love to have been a fly on the wall at the ass-chewing session that ensued in Cupertino over this originally.

  5. The key here is that Grandall is trying to grab ASSETS of Proview. The iPad trademark is no longer an ASSET belonging to Proview. The Chinese courts signed off on the transfer as part of the settlement of the SUIT.

  6. Oh, what a great law firm that is Grandall. It’s non sense like these is why the Japanese understandably look down on the Chinese and slaughtered them during world war 2. And let’s not forget, the chinese govt sinse ww2 killed and maimed more Chinese the Hirohitos army ever did. Shame less country china


    This is China: Criminal Nation. That makes you, Apple, THE SUCKER. And China loves a sucker.

    ‘Me too! Me too! Me too!’… until Apple finally wakes up and gets the hell out of China.

    I wish I could laugh. But it’s all soooo predictable.

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