Last December, a Chinese court rejected Apple’s ownership of the iPad trademark in China in favor of Proview International, a large but relatively unknown Chinese monitor company. Now Apple is appealing that ruling, asking the courts to transfer the iPad trademark to it and also asking for Proview to pay 4 million yuan as compensation for legal fees that have accrued.
Apple’s original lawsuit against the company noted that a Proview subsidiary in Taiwan had sold the iPad trademark rights to “IP Applications,” a UK-based company that later sold the trademark rights to Apple in 2010. In December, a court in Shenzen, China ruled that the transfer of trademark rights was only done through the Taiwan subsidiary. Since the main corporation (also located in Shenzhen) was not in attendance at the trademark negotiations in Taiwan, the court stated that Proview did not formally transfer any trademark rights to Apple.
Apple’s new appeal makes the claim that the Taiwanese subsidiary was acting as a representative for Proview’s mainland operations. Proview says that it has no such relationship with the Taiwan subsidiary and was never in talks with Apple about transferring the iPad trademarks.
It would be in Apple’s best interest to win the appeal, since Proview has already filed a pair of lawsuits in Chinese courts demanding that Apple and another vendor — Gome Electronics — stop selling tablets using the iPad name.