iPad Trademark Dispute Could See Complete Ban On Shipments Into And Out Of China



A trademark dispute currently ongoing between Apple and Proview Technology recently saw the iPad banned in one Chinese city, but things could be about to get a whole lot worse. A lawyer for Proview, which claims to own the rights of the “iPad” name in China, is seeking a ban on iPad shipments into and out of China.

Not only would that mean that Chinese customers cannot get their hands on the device, but the rest of the world would be without the iPad, too.

Proview successfully won a court battle against Apple in southern China late last year, and is currently looking for $38 million in compensation. Furthermore, the company is petitioning Chinese customs to stop shipments of Apple’s iPad, its lawyer Xie Xianghui told Asian Legal Business.

If the company’s bid is successful, Apple’s iPad — which is assembled in China — would not be allowed to leave the country, and we wouldn’t be able to purchase it.

Apple bought the iPad trademark from Proview back in 2006 for around $55,000, but Proview claims it did not sell the rights to the name in China. However, as you’d expect, Apple won’t back down. Bloomberg reports:

Apple said it had bought the worldwide rights to the trademark long ago.

“We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter,” an Apple spokeswoman said.

While it may seem unlikely, it’s possible that Proview could delay the launch of Apple’s iPad 3 if Chinese customs comply with its demands. But we’re confident that’s not going to happen.

  • marcwitteveen

    I would also like to see a complete BAN on all Chinese imitation products as well as all Chinese low quality products on the market.

  • Bert Vanderveen

    How strange that the government of a country that’s infamous for infringing on copyright and IP backs the claim of an obscure firm… 
    My educated guess is that Proview Tech is owned by a clique of high gov. officials and party cadre.

  • heywally

    Little will happen from this but …. AAPL and others are far too leveraged and dependent on China for their products.


  • FriarNurgle


  • PeterLin

    So, this explains why Tim Cook can’t sleep at night…

  • Zeteboy

    Let’s also start by banning all things from china coming here.
    Sounds fair go me.

  • imajoebob

    This will not happen.  In fact, it may be the best thing for intellectual property rights in years.  China has a long history of abusing patenta and trademarks, but has never pushed it this far.  If they push it outside their borders the rest of the world will slam the door on all Chinese products, and then use that leverage to dismantle the corrupt Chinese trade machine. If they do ban the iPad it will start a “patent war,” where the rest of the world, including Apple, operates without China.  Do you think Apple had Foxconn set up in Brazil because they liked the weather?

  • De Bee

    To Apple Legal:  Simple fix is to add the Chinese character for “Happiness” or “Joy” at the end.  Now TM will be accepted since they can contain multi language elements.

    ie>  iPad___________ (add this character).  We can talk consult fee later.

    See images with solution.

  • De Bee

    To Apple Legal:  Your solution is to add the Chinese character for Happiness or Joy at the end as TMs can contain multi language elements.

    Let me know what you think.  Posted here first.

    See images below.  Glad to be apple to assist APPLE with such matters.

  • De Bee

    why can’t I see the images I attached?

  • De Bee

    Ignore this one. It is wrong. see the one at the top

  • De Bee


  • De Bee