Hong Kong judge backs Apple in iPad trademark dispute

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.