Apple Product Takes Big Blow in Chinese Market

Dec 7, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
Apple will likely have to use a different name for its popular tablet in China.

Apple’s popular tablet product, the iPad, might no longer be called by its common moniker in China: The company recently lost a lawsuit to trademark the product’s name in that country. 

Apple was handed the lawsuit by Taiwanese company Proview Technology, Inc. The company had trademarked the term iPad in 2000 for a failed product, called I-PAD, in regions of Europe, South Korea, China and several other Asian countries.

“It is arrogant of Apple to just ignore our rights and go ahead selling the iPad in this market, and we will oppose that,” Proview chairman Yang Rongshan said in an interview with the Financial Times.

The company is currently $64 million in debt, and some of Proview’s top assets are its trademarks, said Yang. Proview sued Apple for $1.6 billion in October.

While Apple bought the trademark’s European rights from Proview approximately one year ago, the Chinese trademark was not included in the deal.

This latest suit bore a resemblance to a previous dispute involving Canadian company Comwave Telecom, Inc. Comwave held an iPhone trademark in its home country before Apple’s launch of its famous smartphone. The matter was resolved after an eight month battle between the companies, with Comwave agreeing to phase out its use of the iPhone name.