Apple's Claim over Trademark "iPad" in China Rejected

Apple Inc.’s lawsuit accusing Proview Technology (Shenzhen) of infringing its trademark “iPad” in China was rejected by the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court on 5 December 2011. 

Proview Technology (Shenzhen) is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-headquartered Proview International Holdings Limited, which also has a branch in Taipei. According to the court, the “iPad” trademark was registered by Proview Taipei in a number of countries and regions as early as 2000 and by Proview Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland in 2001. Proview Taipei subsequently sold the trademark to a UK company IP Application Development. And when Apple signed a contract in 2006 with the UK company for use of the trademark, China was not included in it.  

The court’s ruling was: to properly acquire a trademark from the rights owner, Apple should have performed more diligently its attention obligations and gone through the formalities of trademark assignment in accordance with the laws and regulations of China; in this case, the assignment deal was entered into with Proview Taipei, rather than the defendant Proview Shenzhen, and furthermore, no element of “apparent agency” with Proview Shenzhen can be established, the accusation therefore lacks factual and legal basis, and is rejected accordingly.