Home Your IT Mobility Apple facing massive compensation bill for using iPad name in China

Apple could face a charge of up to US$1.6 billion if it wants to continue using the iPad name for its popular tablet devices in mainland China after a significant copyright infringement court loss to a Hong Kong LCD maker.

 

According to a report in the Chinese state-owned Xinhua news agency, Proview International Holdings, which registered the iPad name in both Taiwan and mainland China in 2000 and 2001 respectively, had sold the Taiwan rights to Apple in 2009 for a mere US$54,000 but not the China rights.

Strangely, Apple still attempted to sue Proview for trademark infringement in China, claiming the 2009 sale covered both Taiwan and China.

The Municipal Intermediate People's Court in Shenzhen, however, rejected Apple's case.

After winning the case, financially struggling Hong Kong-based, Proview Technology, which owns the iPad trademark for China, will now seek compensation from Apple for use of the name.

Proview is under debt restructuring administration by a Chinese management consultancy, which now wants to make Apple pay for what will be considered its infringement of Proview's iPad trademark in China.

Hejun Vanguard Group, the Chinese management consultant, is quoted as saying that Apple's copyright infringement is clear and that it has been selling iPads in China since September last year in defiance of the laws. The more iPads that Apple sells the more compensation it will have to pay Proview, a Hejun spokesman said in Xinhua.

Hejun is reportedly seeking $1.6 billion from Apple for the unfettered right to use the iPad trademark.

Apple, however, has the right of appeal.

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Stan Beer

 

Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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