The iPad is synonymous with Apple, but according to Taiwan-based company Proview, Cupertino is stomping all over their trademark on the ‘IPad’ name… and they want Apple to pay up.
These days, Proview is a company known only by a few industry insiders as a contract manufacturer of flat screen displays, but flash back ten years ago and the Taiwanese company made a go of bring a tablet computer named the “I-Pad” to market. Indeed, trademark databases show Proview as having registered both the IPAD and I-Pad name in the EU, China, South Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam between 2000 and 2004.
So far, so good… but according to Proview’s chairman, the company agreed to sell the global trademark to IPAD to US-registered group “IP Application Development” for the sum of $55,104 in 2006. Apple, in turn, bought the IPAD name from IP Application Development earlier this year. That would seemingly make Apple legally in the right when it comes to the iPad trademark.
So what’s Proview’s beef? Apparently, even though Proview sold the “global trademark” to IPAD back in 2006, they are now claiming that this deal did not include the IPAD trademark in China. Now lawsuits are flying back and forth as Proview tries to sue Apple for infringing on their trademark in China, while Apple is trying to get the Chinese courts to assign the Chinese trademark for IPAD to IP Application Development’s division in China… a move which would give Apple total control over the iPad trademark internationally.
Messy, but Apple has a lot more money to throw at the dispute than Proview. iPad will belong to Apple in the end, one way or another.