Did you really think we could go for more than a few weeks without the mentioning a new Apple-centric lawsuit? Of course not.
This time around, a Taiwan-based monitor manufacturer called Proview is swearing up and down that they registered the name I-Pad back in 2000 to be used as a brand for a line of tablet computers that the company launched and subsequently watched fail. The name was, according to Proview, trademarked in Mexico, South Korea, the European Union, Thailand, China and Vietnam. By 2006, Proview felt that the trademarked I-Pad name was worth more than any product line that they could hope to launch. Consequentially, they sold off their trademark rights to the name for every country they’d established it in, with the exception of China. The purchase, made by an unknown American company called IP Application Development, was made for the meager sum of ,100. IP Application Development registered the I-Pad name in the United States this past January. So, who are these IP Application Development guys? Well, they’ve been connected to a shell company called Slate Computing, who in turn have been connected to–you guessed it–Apple.
What did Apple do with it? Have you heard of the iPad? It’s kind of a big deal.
So, where’s the lawsuit in all of this? It seems that Proview is miffed that they sold their intellectual property to Apple without knowing that they were dealing with Apple. It seems that they’re bitter over having been paid so little money for the rights to a name that has in essence, allowed Apple to basically print their own money. In an interview with the Financial Times, Proview’s chairman Yang Rongshan admitted that his company was “…in big financial trouble and the trademarks are a valuable asset that could help us sort out part of that trouble.”
Have no doubt that as soon as further information surrounding this sordid tale becomes available, we’ll let you know.
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