Proview amends its iPad lawsuit, now accusing Apple of fraud

By now, most of you have heard about the Proview vs. Apple lawsuit. The Chinese monitor-maker, who is currently in steep financial trouble, is suing Apple over the use of its iPad trademark in China.

Even though some judges have already ruled in Proview’s favor, Apple is denying the allegations. The company claims that it purchased the rights to the iPad name years ago, and has emails to prove it. Now hear what Proview has to say…

This morning, Proview issued a press release announcing that it has amended its original lawsuit against Apple with the addition of these new charges: intentional misrepresentation, fraud by concealment, fraudulent inducement, and unfair competition. Wow.

Here’s an excerpt from the release:

“The [amended] complaint provides evidence that the December 23, 2009 agreement that Proview Taiwan entered into was fraudulently induced by the concealment and suppression of material facts by Apple’s agents, and that, as a result, the 2009 agreement is void. Once the agreement is voided for fraud, the ipad trademarks in the European Union, South Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam will revert back to Proview Taiwan.”

So it sounds like Apple didn’t mention to Proview that it wanted the iPad name for a game-changing tablet device when it was negotiating for the trademark. So the company sold Apple the rights to the moniker for around $50,000.

That amount seems ridiculous now considering what the iPad means to Apple, and obviously Proview feels like it got burned. Now the company is asking Apple to fairly compensate it for the iPad trademark, and is demanding somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 million dollars (though we’ve heard numbers as high as $2 billion).

This new claim of fraud, although a bit of a stretch, could prove to be extremely damaging to Apple and its popular tablet line. If the court decides that Apple is guilty of fraud, then the iPad trademark would revert back to Proview in the aforementioned countries, and Apple would either have to pony up some serious cash, or completely rename its tablet.