Taiwanese Company Proview Sues Apple Over iPad Name Citing Trademark Infringement

The Taiwanese owned company Proview seeks to collect damages in China and in the US (and I'd assume eventually Taiwan) for infringing on their right to the iPad name. Proview is a contract manufacturer of flat screens, one that made an attempt almost 10 years ago to market a tablet computer by the name "I-Pad." But that's not the whole story. Lawsuits being tossed around like candy at a parade! That's what's up!

Trademark databases show the company having registered the name IPAD (or I-Pad) in the EU, China, South Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam in the years between 2000 and 2004. According to people involved in the case (from the Apple side, more than likely) Apple has won preliminary injunctions in similar cases against Proview to stop them from selling off the IPAD name in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Seem sort of backward to you yet?

Yang Rongshan, Proview's chairman has said that Proview agreed in 2006 to sell the "global trademark" of the IPAD name to US-registered group "IP Application Development" for $55,104. Yang notes that trademarks for the Chinese market were not included in this deal. "It is arrogant of Apple to just ignore our rights and go ahead selling the iPad in this market, and we will oppose that," Mr Yang said. "Besides that, we are in big financial trouble and the trademarks are a valuable asset that could help us sort out part of that trouble."

Because of that trouble, everyone involved financially with Proview obviously looked forward to the sale of the IPAD trademark in China, but since they began the preposed selling of trademarks, both Apple and IP Application Development have come down legally on Proview, seeking an order to assign the IPAD name to IP Application Development in China. Why would Apple want that? Because they've just purchased the IPAD name from IP Application Development in the EU this year – this would be the next step toward total world control of the IPAD name.

[Via Financial Times]