China investigates iPad trademark infringement


China’s State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) is starting to investigate the iPad trademark infringement.

The trademark dispute between Apple Inc and Shenzhen Proview Technology emerged in 2000. As early as 2000, Shenzhen subsidiary of Proview International Holdings Ltd, one of world’s four major monitor manufacturers at that time, registered the iPad trademark in China, Mexico, Singapore, Indonesia, and EU countries. In 2006, however, Apple Inc found that the trademark was belonging to Proview Technology, as the company planned to promote its iPad product.

In late 2009, a subsidiary of Proview Technology in Taiwan sold 10 trademarks, including two related to the name iPad, to a UK company called IP Application Development, which is owned by Apple. IPAD later transferred rights for the iPad trademarks to Apple Inc.

But Proview Shenzhen thinks that the deal in 2009 does not include the right to use the “iPad” trademark on the Chinese mainland. In April 2010, Proview Shenzhen asked Apple Inc to stop the infringement and compensate for the losses. But Apple Inc ignored the requests and continued the sales of its iPad products. In July 2010, Apple Inc and IP Application Development filed a lawsuit against Proview Shenzhen, but the recent court verdict found that the Shenzhen affiliate is not bound by the 2009 deal.

Once the iPad trademark infringement is verified, Apple Inc will face large sum of fines.

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