Apple and Proview have been in the news a lot lately for their ongoing legal battle over Proview’s trademark of the term ‘Ipad’. Many China cities have already banned the tablet, while Mainland China has yet to rule on the case. In an interesting turn of events, Apple asked Amazon China to remove the tablet from their store last week.

However this morning, a person familiar with the matter was able to get their hands on a letter Apple sent to Proview, threatening a lawsuit. In the letter, Apple claimed Proview was “damaging Apple’s reputation.”

“It is inappropriate to release information contrary to the facts to the media, especially when such disclosures have the effect of wrongfully causing damage to Apple’s reputation.” 

Proview has asked many Chinese cities to place a ban on Cupertino-based Apple’s iPad, and have been successful in many cities. Proview claims that Apple didn’t pay for use of the ‘Ipad’ trademark, however, Apple says they paid the UK-based Proview £35,000 (US$55,000) for use of the trademark. Proview says they’ll drop all legal action if Apple pays a $400 million settlement.

In typical fashion, Apple isn’t going down with out a fight. Apple has also filed their own lawsuits in China, against Proview, saying the company has made “defamatory statements” to the media that have hurt Apple’s reputation.

Apple certainly might have some ground here. Proview’s founder Yang Rongshan hasn’t been short of shy with the media.

Last week, Chinese Customs told Proview that it would be difficult to enforce a widespread ban on the iPad throughout China . However, some cities and stores have already begun enforcing it. This morning, news broke that southern China’s Huizhou would ban the iPad.

The letter can be viewed in full (Chinese) on Scribd.

Are you guys tired of the Proview news yet?

[PC World]

  • Anonymous

    Why is this even an issue. Clearly there has to be some kind of contract or paperwork showing whether Apple paid pro view for the trademark in China. If not Apple needs to pay up.

    • If you were bankrupt and you could find an easy way to sue one of the richest companies, I think you would too.

      • What you say doesn’t oppose what JerseyD said in any way.
        It doesn’t matter if they were bankrupt or not – if what they say IS true, then Apple has no nut-shield for this one, they’ll have to pay.

    • Proview already mentioned that their parent company has no rights to sell the ‘iPad’ name. Even if Apple obtained the ‘iPad’ name legally… Proview still won’t recognise the deal. It makes me wonder if this lawsuit is just for making a quick buck.

      By the way, does a parent company have full legal rights to transact a deal which affects its child companies?

  • Anonymous

    Do they need to sue to get access to this information? When they had the court case the first time (that ended with Proview winning), the first thing any respectable lawyer does is check the paperwork… unless they’re relatively sure it’ll damage them. This is probably a desperate last attempt to both hurt Proview with court costs and pour over the document hoping to find a flaw to use against them.

  • Anonymous

    Personally i’d like to see articles about Apple products, tweaks, apps etc etc, instead it’s either biased posts that slag off any of Apple’s competition or it’s stories about who Apple’s suing this week … yawn.

    • I thought it was pretty interesting that Apple was fighting back. Sorry buddy.

      • Anonymous

        Fighting back? I suppose that would make a change from constantly starting the fights, sorry, Apple don’t do that do they .. Apple fans find it impossible to take any form of criticism though which normally ends with a torrent of abuse from their no doubt teenage mouths but it was nice to see a reply that was civil .. I commend you on that but i’m sure it won’t be long before someone who frequents this blog will be f’ing and blinding because they don’t share anothers views.

  • uhm that “I” on Ipad is same as “l” on the word love.. apple could use my statement here.

  • Anonymous

    I hope Apple has to pay the 400 million. They are a good company and make great products, but sometimes a bully needs to be put in their place.

    • Thank you!! At least someone who reads idownloadblog, and sees both sides of Apple(good, and bad)

    • a bully will just take something from you (by force) without even paying. i don’t see Apple taking things for themselves at their own whims and fancies…

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like Proview’s founder Yang Rongshan is full of “sour grapes” and is pissed at himself, that he took Apple’s money of $55,000 USD.

    I’m sure this deal between Apple & Proview was struck several years ago BEFORE the “iPad” was a household name! Apple isn’t stupid by any measure, they struck a deal with him years ago, he took their money (probably thinking that Apple was insane for offering to him $55K USD for something he felt was “worthless”).

    Obviously Yang Rongshan is not a very bright man, he probably didn’t want to spend any money (in typical Chinese fashion) on hiring his own Contract Attorneys several years ago to help him better formulate a better compensation contract!

    As to winning the first lawsuit and injunction – I believe that was done in the court of the hometown where Proview is based – knowing Chinese business & politics as well as I do, I am certain that Judge that oversaw the case was clearly biased to Proview!

    Don’t count on Yang Rongshan winning in the end! With China Telecom in the picture, they are going to want these Apple iPads to sell!!! And I guarantee you that China Telecom has much more influence with the Communist Party than this little man named “Yang Rongshan”!

  • “Are you guys tired of the Proview news yet?” Hmm, you write this when Apple is the victim, but when Google becomes the victim of a lawsuit, you don’t seem to mind.

  • Has any body seen the chinese Ipad… it look like the older macs that had diiferernt colors…you know the big CRT models…so why not sue them for the design they stole, if im not mistaken by all means…

  • iDB doesn’t need to end EVERY article with a question. Sometimes, just be a reporter and report. I love iDB, but the question ending this post is comical.