Video: Apple loses iPad trademark in China
Lawyer Ma Dongxiao, representing Shenzhen-based Proview Technology in a trademark dispute with Apple Inc, is surrounded by journalists outside a court in Shanghai on Wednesday. (Gao Erqiang / China Daily)
by Yamei Wang
BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- The recent trademark dispute between U.S. tech giant Apple Inc. and China's Proview Shenzhen has drawn worldwide attention and provoked heated debates both at home and abroad.
Many people begin to predict who will win at last. But no matter who will win finally, the lesson that can be learned from it deserves more attention.
Regardless of money issue involved in this lawsuit, what deserves our attention is the Chinese companies' awareness of intellectual property rights protection and the difference on intellectual property concept between different countries and regions.
Proview Technology Shenzhen is a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-headquartered Proview International Holdings Limited, which also has a branch in Taipei.
Proview Taipei registered the iPad trademark in a number of countries and regions as early as 2000, and Proview Shenzhen registered the trademark on the Chinese mainland in 2001.
Apple bought the rights to use the trademark from Proview Taipei in February 2010 via IP Application Development Limited (IP), a company registered in Britain.
However, Proview Shenzhen claims it still reserves the right to use the trademark on the Chinese mainland. The two sides have been tangled in a legal dispute ever since.
In December 2011, the Municipal Intermediate People's Court in Shenzhen rejected a lawsuit by Apple and IP accusing Proview Shenzhen of infringing on the iPad trademark.
Apple has appealed to the Higher People's Court of Guangdong Province. The case is still pending.
On Feb. 23, 2012, attorneys for Shenzhen Proview Technology and Apple went head-to-head during a heated hearing in Shanghai over the bitter iPad trademark dispute.
The first session was adjourned after four hours, during which Proview denied having sold the right to use the iPad trademark to Apple, while Apple rejected calls for a sales ban on its tablet computers.
So far, no date is set for a verdict or second hearing.
On Feb. 24, 2012, Proview Shenzhen announced that it has already filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc. in the United States. And the lawsuit was submitted on Feb. 17.
At the same time, Xiexiang Hui, Proview lawyer, said Proview Shenzhen has negotiated with Apple over the issue, but the specific details of the talks were not yet available.
Once the two sides reach an agreement, there will be no use to attend the Guangdong Provincial High Court hearings on Feb. 29.