back to article Apple vs Bank of China in iPad Shanghai showdown

Apple's IPAD trademark fight in China has taken on a whole new dimension: its opponent isn't merely defunct monitor biz Proview, but the state-backed Bank of China. Ranked in the top 20 biggest banks in the world, Bank of China is 69 per cent owned by the Chinese state and – according to Bloomberg – has part-owned Proview and …

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  1. micheal
    Devil

    Even as an non apple lover

    (i have ipads and iphones as well as normal kit), I still see it as the Chinese governments attempt to dictate to the world that they can change the rules as they wish on legal agreements with any non state owned company

    1. Rob

      Re: Even as an non apple lover

      From what I've read, the Chinese Gov isn't really getting involved in this, after reading the headlines of this article I was partially expecting the Bank to step in and swing some arms with the backing and endorsement of the Chinese Gov but that doesn't seem to be the case.

      1. Steve the Cynic

        Re: Re: Even as an non apple lover

        Forgive me while I go outside for a good long laugh...

        ... OK, I'm back. I feel weak. Really, do you seriously think much of anything in China involving dealings with foreigners does not involve the government? And with the bank being majority-owned by the state, well...

        No, the surprise here is that a higher court sided with Apple.

        1. Rob

          Re: Re: Re: Even as an non apple lover

          @Steve the Cynic, I just got back from a good laugh outside, think a bit of wee came out...

          ... it's alright, just checked no wee. No the surprise here is that you think the high court has the power to ignore the Gov't, which clearly it hasn't as you've just stated, they'll be into anything involving foreign business dealings (or more importantly, contributing to China's GDP). So either way the Chinese Gov't isn't getting involved like the post I was replying too was suggesting.

          So no I seriously don't.

    2. ItsNotMe
      WTF?

      Sort of like what Apple does? Change the rules to suit them?

      " I still see it as the Chinese governments attempt to dictate to the world that they can change the rules as they wish on legal agreements..."

      Or tell OWNERS of equipment they purchased, what they can & can not install on THEIR computers/iPads/iPods.

      I own three iPods & three Apple computers, but their policies are really annoying.

      1. Sean Timarco Baggaley
        FAIL

        Re: Sort of like what Apple does? Change the rules to suit them?

        You can install whatever the hell you like on your Apple kit. You always could. It is, in fact, perfectly possible to "jailbreak" an iPhone even today. Apple aren't suing jailbreakers, although they're perfectly entitled to make the process harder. It's their design, after all.

        What you are not entitled to is Apple's support for tinkering with your machine.

        If I were to modify a Ford vehicle into a "monster truck", do you think I'd be able to drive it into my nearest Ford dealership when it breaks down and demand they repair it under warranty?

      2. toadwarrior
        Facepalm

        Re: Sort of like what Apple does? Change the rules to suit them?

        Maybe you're just stupid. My apple computers let me install anything including other operating systems.

      3. John A Blackley

        Re: Sort of like what Apple does? Change the rules to suit them?

        If their policies are so annoying, why do you own so many of their products?

        To give you complaining rights?

  2. Tom 38 Silver badge

    """

    We bought Proview's worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago.

    """

    Make your mind up, was it worldwide rights, or in 10 countries. 'Worldwide rights in 10 countries' makes no sense at all.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      If they only registered it in 10 countries then Apple buying the rights in all 10 is worldwide rights to use the same, since Apple is likely to have registered the name in the other countries. Pretty simple.

  3. Giles Jones Gold badge

    The case was dismissed due to a lack of evidence. If you can't prove you own a trademark or that your subsidiary doesn't have the right to sell the rights to it then there's isn't much point going to court.

    We've all heard of patent trolls, this is a trademark troll. But one which either doesn't have or has lost the paperwork.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Shanghai court rejects Proview injunction, okays the sale of Apple iPads"

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/23/shanghai-court-rejects-ipad-ban/

    Surprised this wasn't included in article.

    Next up, Guangdong.

    1. Local Group
      Happy

      Re: "Shanghai court rejects Proview injunction, okays the sale of Apple iPads"

      In other words, a district court refused to enjoin Apple from selling iPads. BFD. The court didn't want to get involved. This had nothing to do with the trademark matter at hand to be heard by a court of appeals next week. It's like a prosecutor asking for a large bail and the judge not requiring any.

      District court == nothing to do with trademark == nothing to get excited about. :-)

  5. kevin king

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17143417 Apple iPad sale ban case dismissed for now in Shanghai

  6. dotdavid
    FAIL

    Hmm

    "On its side, Proview disputes whether Proview’s Taiwan unit, to which Apple paid £35,000 ($55,943) for the trademark, had the right to sell it or whether that rested with the Shenzhen unit and its creditors"

    I'm not a big fan of Apple, but wouldn't that mean it's the Taiwan unit's fault for doing stuff beyond their authority, not Apple's fault for buying the rights in good faith. Shouldn't Proview Shenzhen be suing Proview Taiwan?

    Of course the Taiwan unit is probably defunct, so suing Apple is a strategy with more chance of financial success...

    1. CmdrX3

      Re: Hmm

      No it's not really up to one Proview unit to sue the other. If my son sells my car without my permission to someone, and I say "oiii hang on a sec, that's my car, he didn't have permission to sell it... I want it back". I don't sue my son, I get the police to return my car and it's up to the purchaser of the car to sue my son for his money back. Obviously things are a little more complicated than that and that's a very basic analogy.

      Personally though as regards to Proview and Apple, I could care less either way. I don't plan on buying an iPad so whether they are available or not affects me not one jot.

      1. mrfill
        FAIL

        Re: Re: Hmm

        I think you'll find that when the police return the car they will arrest your son for fraudulent conversion and he would get prosecuted. The purchaser would be recompensed under the Criminal Injuries scheme. He would not be able to keep the car as good title had not passed.

        If the Taiwan mob sold something it had no right to then Apple's case must fail or it is guilty of receiving stolen property.

        Now, if anyone wants to buy the trade mark 'iTosser', its yours for £150000...

        1. CmdrX3
          FAIL

          Re: Re: Re: Hmm

          He would be prosecuted for theft (which replaced Fraudulent Conversion) as it was his intent was to permanently deprive me of the car. The Criminal Injuries scheme is a scheme to compensate victims of crime who have received injury to their person either physical or mental through an act of violence. Someone buying a stolen car would not qualify (unless my son battered him over the head before leaving) . If Apple didn't know the property was stolen then they wouldn't be charged with handling stolen goods.

          I think you would probably be better holding onto that 'iTosser' trademark, sounds like you may need it.

      2. Ramazan
        Coffee/keyboard

        up to the purchaser to sue ... for his money back

        So Apple would get their £35,000 back from Proview Taiwan in that case, right?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    "One China"

    One of the reasons why the case has not gone against Apple automatically might be that China still regards Taiwan as a renegade province that is part of "one China". Consequently the Chinese government doesn't want to be seen to treat contracts signed in Taiwan any differenty to contracts signed on the mainland and so must appear to be scrupulously fair.

    /Penguin in lieu of a giant panda icon

  8. ratfox Silver badge

    China wants to keep its manufacturing business

    The threat that a lawsuit coming from anywhere could ban the exportation of products built in China is surely hair-raising to any western company. Especially since Chinese courts are not known for their even-handedness when judging between local and foreign companies.

    I think the Chinese government knows that, and prefers to lose money on this shaky case, rather than risk its manufacturing sector.

  9. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Poor China?

    Wins a battle, loses a war?

    or

    Loses a battle, wins a war?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I call BS!

    The signatures on the transfer of trademark include those from Shenzhen which is the China HQ. That is Apple's complain all along!

    Some one is telling big porkies!

    1. Local Group
      Happy

      Re: I call BS!

      Sir AC

      I served the writs with a smile so bland,

      And I copied all the characters in a big round hand--

      Chorus

      He copied all the characters in a big round hand

      Sir AC

      I copied all the characters in a hand so free,

      That now I am the Ruler of the iPad Three.

      Chorus

      He copied all the characters in a hand so free

      That now he is the Ruler of the iPad Three. Etc, etc :-)

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