John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Apple’s Battle Over China iPad Trademark Evidently Interminable

Apple’s battle with Proview over the iPad trademark in China continues to drag on, with no end yet in sight.

It has been a little over three months since Apple appealed to the Higher People’s Court of Guangzhou, a lower Chinese court ruling that found it erroneously purchased the iPad China trademark from a Proview affiliate that didn’t have the right to sell it. But the Higher People’s Court of Guangzhou is withholding judgement on the case because its two players are in mediation talks.

Proview, Apple’s cash-strapped opponent, is looking for a big payout from Cupertino — $1.5 billion — enough to appease its creditors. Apple doesn’t want to pay anything close to that, arguing that it has already legally purchased Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries, China included. And it has a fair bit of evidence to back it up. Among the documents supporting Apple’s claim: A Dec. 23, 2009, contract signed by a Proview representative stipulating that the company will transfer to Apple all rights, “powers and benefits belonging or accrued to the [iPad] trademarks, including the right to sue for past infringements and passing off.”

Quite the rat’s nest here, and one the two companies don’t seem any closer to unraveling than they were a few months ago. As Proview attorney Roger Xie told Bloomberg, “The mediation will continue. There is no specific deadline.”

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work