The legal drama between Apple and Proview just got more interesting.
As we previously reported, Proview, a small Chinese company that makes monitors, claims to own the iPad trademark in China. Apple claims to have bought the trademark a few years ago when they first began selling the iPad.
It got worse when Proview sought an injunction against the import and export of iPads in China that would effectively halt all iPad shipments to the rest of the world. Apple brought the case to the Chinese courts and lost. They are appealing now to the higher courts.
Proview announced Friday that they are going to sue Apple in the United States over the trademark. They are claiming that Apple behaved unfairly.
Li Su, chairman of Hejun Vanguard Group, which is helping to restructure Proview said they are currently looking at three U.S. law firms to bring a suit against Apple that would seek $2 billion in compensation.
Proview CEO Yang Rongshan denied accusations that the lawsuit was their way of getting money to bail the company out of its current financial woes. He claims that the company is only protecting its trademark rights.
This whole mess came about because Proview International Holdings in Hong Kong owns two companies under the Proview Technology name – one in Taiwan and one in China. The Taiwanese branch sold the trademark rights, including the rights in China, to Apple. The Chinese branch claims that the Taiwanese branch had no right to sell the Chinese rights.
Proview is going to argue their case in the U.S. as such – Apple bought the rights through another company that had promised not to make products in competition with Proview.
If the lawsuit is accepted in the United States, expect some big things.
We’ll keep you updated on any and all changes in this fascinating trademark dispute.
[Hat tip to AFP]