May 9, 2012
A California judge yesterday threw out Proview Electronics Co.’s lawsuit against Apple over the iPad trademark in China. The lawsuit, which Proview filed in February, alleges that the technology giant engaged in deceptive practices when it acquired the iPad name in 2009, according to The Wall Street Journal. In throwing the case out, Judge Mark Pierce in the Superior Court of the State of California in Santa Clara County cited an apparent agreement Apple and Proview had to adjudicate their differences in Hong Kong courts. After Proview took their legal case to the U.S., Apple argued for the case to be dismissed on the grounds that the parties had agreed to settle any legal disagreements in the Chinese city-state. Pierce agreed saying Proview failed to provide evidence that the selection of Hong Kong was “unreasonable or unfair.” Proview plans to appeal the decision. This is only the latest turn in the legal skirmish between Proview and Apple over the iPad trademark. In February, Proview said it was bullied by Apple “with oppression, fraud and/or malice,” when it agreed to sell its worldwide iPad trademark in 2009 for just $55,000. At the time, Proview believed it was selling the name to a “special purpose” entity, IP Application Development Limited. Only later, when the first-generation iPad was released, was this entity confirmed to be a front for the technology giant. While Apple has won this round in California, settlement talks between both companies continue in China. On Monday, we reported that Apple was willing to pay Proview to make the case go away. So far, no deal has been announced. At issue is whether Apple can continue using the iPad name in China, and perhaps elsewhere. We’ll keep you updated as this case continues.