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Apple Could Lose $1.6 Billion In iPad Lawsuit 286

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-could-stall-in-court-indefinitely dept.
redletterdave writes "Proview Technology, which currently uses the 'iPad' name on several of its products including computer monitors, stands to win up to $1.6 billion and an apology from Apple for allegedly infringing upon Proview's trademarked name to use on its bestselling tablet. Proview International, which owns subsidiaries Proview Technology in Shenzhen and Proview Electronics in Taiwan, originally registered the name 'iPad' in Taiwan in 2000 and mainland China in 2001. Proview eventually sued Apple in 2011, and even though the Cupertino-based company retaliated with a counter-suit of its own, Apple lost the case in local Chinese courts. Depending on the court's findings, Apple could be fined anywhere from $38 million to the $1.6 billion that Proview is seeking. In addition to the money, Proview also wants Apple to apologize. 'We have prepared well for a long-term legal battle,' said one of Proview's lawyers."
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Apple Could Lose $1.6 Billion In iPad Lawsuit

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  • Good (Score:1, Insightful)

    by dave562 (969951) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @04:55PM (#38959355) Journal

    The title says it all.

    Let Apple taste some of their medicine. They consider themselves to be so smart, and such savvy marketers. Yet they failed to do a few simple searches to make sure that they were not co-opting someone else's name? Or perhaps they did, and decided that it did not matter? If the latter, they double plus good on them getting sued.

  • by sideslash (1865434) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @04:58PM (#38959413)
    I don't think directly or indirectly threatening the Chinese government is in Apple's best interests. All the government would have to do is threaten to shut down Apple's Chinese manufacturing facilities and they'd be back to square one. Given how defensive Apple is about their own trademarks, I do find the whole spectacle amusing now that they've been caught in hypocrisy on that count. With that said, I'm sure they'll work out a backroom deal of some kind, everybody will save face in some way, and life will go on.
  • by santax (1541065) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @05:03PM (#38959483)
    Lol... apple would (and does) lick many a heel just to be able to get those slaves there... Apple wants cheap slaves. China provides them. Apple will have to comply. And not don't forget, the Chinese market is a bit bigger than US and EU combined. China doesn't give a fuck about apple. Sure, it's nice for them they are there, but seriously apple doesn't make a different for China. China however, makes all the difference for apple. Yeps, apple is screwed and rightfully so. Apple hates copyright infringment, so they will understand this court order more than anyone.
  • by cyfer2000 (548592) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @05:17PM (#38959657) Journal
    China government is there to protect Chinese IP and US government is here to protect US IP. Nothing will change.
  • by squidflakes (905524) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @05:20PM (#38959695) Homepage

    There is a place where they could go where there is a whole huge pool of workers who have had their rights trampled, their savings destroyed, and their ability to think dismantled in a systematic way for decades. It is called The United States and there are people there who will jump at the chance to get a job, no matter how terrible the conditions, how grueling the work, or how poorly compensated they are.

    Of course, we're not talking Chinese slave wages, but close.

  • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @05:26PM (#38959763) Homepage Journal

    No... Chinese gov't protects the Chinese and the US gov't protects the top 1% of shareholders who import the Chinese crap. Don't start thinking that the government protects US IP or US people in general. They don't do that.

  • by thegarbz (1787294) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @05:29PM (#38959789)

    I don't think you quite know how the Chinese work. This is a country which turns a blind eye to entire corporations being cloned including multi story buildings and factories being made for phantom companies. Companies such as NEC existed in China for years unnoticed until NEC in America started getting warranty calls for DVD players, a product it doesn't make but none the less had its logo on it.

    If Apple pulled out of China ... nothing changes. iPads would still be available on the grey market just like every other product. Now if Apple pulled PRODUCTION out of China that may be a different story entirely, but the reality is they don't have anywhere else to go, and this is not a decision a company can make on the short term.

    Corporations lobby and threaten, that's about the extent of power over governments. In the west this lobbying works worryingly well.

  • by Defenestrar (1773808) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @05:32PM (#38959841)

    No, this is the cost of doing business poorly. A trademark search needs to be international in scope if you plan on making an international product. On top of damages Apple should be prohibited from further infringement (rename the product in countries with a previously registered trademark). There was a similar debacle (within the US registry if I remember) over the iPhone. I think it was settled, but the infringing product (Apple's iPhone) should have been pulled off the shelves, relabeled, and future infringement explicitly prohibited. It seems that Apple only cares about IP when they can use it to keep others out of their business - the evidence here is that they don't even bother looking to see if they infringe in a direction they want to go.

  • by luis_a_espinal (1810296) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @06:04PM (#38960241) Homepage

    There is a place where they could go where there is a whole huge pool of workers who have had their rights trampled, their savings destroyed, and their ability to think dismantled in a systematic way for decades. It is called The United States and there are people there who will jump at the chance to get a job, no matter how terrible the conditions, how grueling the work, or how poorly compensated they are.

    Of course, we're not talking Chinese slave wages, but close.

    At Foxconn salaries? You are on drugs if you think so.

    Mind you that I would love to see these jobs back in the US, but you are engaging in wishful, triumphalist thinking. These jobs, and all of those jobs WILL NOT COME BACK. Furthermore, it is unreasonable, however much we love this country, to presume replacing $1/hour Chinese workers (if they are lucky) with no benefits such as sick leave with $15/hour (at least) US workers with all the minimal benefits one would typically according to the law.

    If it is not China, there is India, or the Philippines or Indonesia or Thailand or Ghana or Brazil or Argentina or Central America or Romania... shall I go on? The time where the majority of the world lived in violent stone age conditions is gone (most likely forever.) New markets and manufacturing grounds are available all over the world.

    From a purely capitalistic point of view, it makes no sense to do mind-numbing manufacturing in the US. Even if you were to improve working conditions in China, it will still be immensely cheap. Even in countries with a strong stakeholder's capitalist mentality like Japan are finding out harder and harder to keep tricket-manufacturing jobs within their own borders.

    The only way for the US to get these jobs back is with heavy government involvement, greater subsidies (meaning higher taxes), all the stuff that our bovine collective calls "socialism" in a brain-dead, knee-jerking fashion.

    Those jobs ain't coming back Sonny boy. We are simply not capable of competing for them anymore. We demand greater salaries and we have higher costs of living than our foreign competitors (not to mention that our competitors actually produce HS graduates that know how to read, write and add fractions, which we don't.)

    In other words, unless we do something else entirely, we are in deep shit.

  • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @06:34PM (#38960551) Homepage

    And like McIntosh Laboratory [macworld.co.uk], Cisco's iPhone [pcworld.com], and the way the Mighty Mouse [geek.com] turned into the Magic Mouse. It's hard to feel sorry for Apple when they keep making the same class of mistake.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @06:45PM (#38960663) Homepage Journal

    They won't win. Eventually the case will make it to a high court and the party will make sure things go in favor of Apple. Proview may very well be a Chinese company, but Apple does a lot of business in China and indirectly provides a lot of employment for Chinese citizens.

    do you think chinese need apple ?

    hahahahahaha.

    dude. chinese do almost all the manufacturing on the planet already. and apple's sales numbers are not that high to be considered a major factor in china. if apple goes away, others will take its place.

    apple cant go away. they cant find cheaper production anywhere else.

    so ....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @06:59PM (#38960793)

    It's like two guys in a bar fighting over the ugliest chick.
    Apple could have picked a million better names that weren't trademarked.
    Whoever picked IPad should be shot, if their still alive.

  • by Dahamma (304068) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @07:04PM (#38960863)

    It's not about hurting Proview, it's about hurting China's economy. If Apple threatens to move all of their device production out of China, that's incentive not to rule against Apple (or at least not rule on the order of $1B+). Some estimates say Apple subcontractors in China employ over 500,000 people building Apple products...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @07:41PM (#38961203)
    Given Apple's bad press from Chinese working conditions, they could probably spin a move as a Good Thing.
  • by bryan1945 (301828) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @08:05PM (#38961393) Journal

    "In other words, unless we do something else entirely, we are in deep shit."
    Like get rid of the corrupt unions?

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @08:25PM (#38961541) Journal

    Ya know, I don't know which is worse, a name THAT lame was already called or if they nail Apple we may be looking at iTab or iSlate or iMove or some such shit.

    Seriously what is it with corps and fucked up names for products? you have Apple putting i on everything, Intel with core i followed by some number that don't tell me shit without a translation table, AMD tossing Phenom and Athlon and Sempron for a letter followed again by some number that don't tell me shit without a translation table, hell they don't even have the simple "X(number of cores)" anymore, its too damned confusing!

  • by 24-bit Voxel (672674) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @01:17AM (#38963531) Journal

    Life was much easier back in the day with my zip drive, voodoo 3, and Pentium 2 MMX overdrive. That thing had loads of EDO RAM. Adding the Kittyhawk was just overkill, but I'd like to think the Diamond Stealth 64 ensured that "outside" was just a concept. Poor bastard down the street had an Audrey 2000, and my brother got my old Sinclair 1000! (lol!)

    Still far superior to the Adam though....

The first version always gets thrown away.

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