Hong Kong judge backs Apple in iPad trademark dispute

By , Feb 16, 2012

By now, most of you have probably heard about Apple’s ongoing trademark dispute with Proview. The monitor-maker believes that Apple is infringing on its iPad trademark, and has recently won an injunction against the company and its tablet in China.

Apple has responded to the allegations, claiming that it acquired the rights to use the iPad trademark from Proview years ago. It believes the company is trying to exploit loopholes in their agreement for monetary purposes. And judge Hon Poon agrees…

Hon Poon is the judge that presided over a similar Proview v. Apple dispute in Hong Kong back in 2010. He ruled that based on an agreement with Proview, Apple had full rights to the iPad trademark. And AllThingsD has just gotten its hands on the court documents from that trial:

“The conduct of all the defendants demonstrate that they have combined together with the common intention of injuring Apple and IP Application [ Apple’s agent in the purchase] by acting in breach of the agreement. Proview Holdings, Proview Electronics and Proview Shenzhen, all clearly under [Proview CEO Yang Rongshan’s] control, have refused to take any steps to ensure compliance with the agreement so that the China Trademarks are properly assigned or trasnferred to [Apple]. Instead, they attempt to exploit the situation as a business opportunity for the Proview Group by seeking an amount of US $10 million from Apple.”

It looks like Proview agreed years ago to let Apple use its iPad trademark, but when it saw how much money Apple was making off the tablet, it decided to ask for more money. And when Apple didn’t comply, it found a favorable judge in south China to help put pressure on the Cupertino company to pay up.

Just one question though. How come Apple can’t just show the court the Proview agreement that says it can use the iPad trademark and call it a day? Something’s off here. It’ll be interesting how this thing plays out.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christer-Holm/1663777778 Christer Holm

    Hong Kong is Hong Kong and not China.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mohgui Andrew Lee

      looks like you need to brush up on your history lessons dude…

      • http://pattaya-travel.com/ jo-macral

        China does own Hong Kong, however it is an independent state with their own laws, etc. That is why when you visit Hong Kong, you still need a separate visa to visit China across the river. They are treated independently. There are also duties and taxes when shipping things between Hong Kong and China (Our company is in Hong Kong, but manufacturing is in China).

  • Joo Joo

    Hong Kong is China but China is not Hong Kong.

  • Anonymous

    I say spent $100 crushing them come on Tim…be like Steve….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mihai-Enachioiu/100000720237461 Mihai Enachioiu

    buy them out and get it over with

  • http://twitter.com/x_rus_x Vitaliy Anonymous

    Woah, that just shows how corrupt the judges are. If that was Google being sued, the judge wouldn’t back Google. I hate all these Apple loving corporations that bend over for Apple.

    • Ignacio Irigoyen

      So, this kind of lawsuit is good but when Apple do the same is evil? I believe that Apple would not go with the strategy “you sold us the right to use iPad” if it was false, because it would be very easy to check.
      Here I thing Proview is trying to exploit a loophole on the agreement. Also would really apple forget to buy the rights for China give the size of the market? I don’t think so.

      • http://twitter.com/x_rus_x Vitaliy Anonymous

        What I mean is that when Apple sues Google, Motorola, Samsung, HTC…and on and on and on(if you know what I mean), the judges favor Apple, even with the ridiculous lawsuits like “slide to unlock”. Google sues, and judges throw out the lawsuit. Now Apple is having their iPads banned because of Proview, and are trying to overturn the ban, and once again the judge is in favor of Apple.

      • http://twitter.com/x_rus_x Vitaliy Anonymous

        Also, if Apple is so righteous here, just like Cody said, “Why don’t they show the agreement and call it a day?”