Chinese Authorities Seize iPads Over Trademark Issues

News | Sunday February 12 2012 2:54 PM | Comments (0) Tags: , , , , , ,

Last week, we had told you that
as Proview Technology’s Chinese subsidiary claimed that it had rights to the name and was suing Apple for $1.6 billion.
We had also reported that Apple could be fined 240 million yuan ($38 million) by government authorities over alleged trademark infringement involving the “iPad” name.
While Apple has appealed against the ruling favoring Proview,
 now reports that authorities have started confiscating iPads discovered in retail stores in response to the ruling, while other retailers are proactively removing them to prevent them from being confiscated.
A report from iFeng [Chinese], translated by Penn Olson, clarifies that the iPad seizures are taking place in the city of Shijiazhuang only, in what appears to be a one off measure. It will be interesting to watch how this develops, as Chinese authorities have the eyes of the world on them.
Proview Technology had first filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Apple in 2010, claiming it owned the “iPad” trademark in China since 2000. At that time it was demanding $800 million from Apple . Apple had countersued Proview claiming that they owned the “iPad” trademark as they had bought European rights to the “iPad” trademark from Proview’s parent company for $55,000, which also included China.
But back in December, Apple lost the lawsuit as the court ruled that Proview’s parent company did not have the authority to sell them. Apple had appealed the December ruling that favored Proview. So this news comes as a surprise as you would ideally expect authorities to wait for the outcome of that appeal.
Apple ‘s CEO Tim Cook has said that China is one of it’s key markets and reiterated during the earning call last month that China remained the company’s big bet with regards to emerging markets.
It remains to be seen if this action by authorities in China will be a one-off action or if it will spread to other cities.

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