/// Who Really Owns the iPad Trademark in China?

February 29, 2012  |  All Things Digital

The hearing that could determine ownership of the iPad trademark in China kicked off this morning with a broad rehash of the battle we’ve seen play out in the media the past few weeks: Apple arguing it Proview Technology’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark several years ago, and Proview claiming it bought them from an affiliate that didn’t own them. “Apple meticulously formed a band of lawyers to buy the trademark, but the transacted amount was given to Taiwan’s Proview, not Shenzhen’s Proview,” Proview’s attorneys told the court, adding that the iPad trademark therefore still belongs to Proview’s Shenzhen unit, its claimed original owner. The problem with that argument, as Apple’s legal team was quick to point out, is that negotiations over the iPad trademark were authorized by Rowell Yang, chairman of Proview Shenzhen, and the actual transfer agreement was signed by Ray Mai , head of Shenzhen’s legal department. Proview’s explanation for this according to its lawyers: “ Personnel may have multiple roles or titles within the group, but the question is in what capacity were they acting? ” And that really gets to the heart of the issue here: Did Apple buy the iPad China trademark from a company that didn’t own it? “The ownership of the trademark when it was allegedly sold is not really in doubt; it was owned by Proview-Taiwan,” Dan Harris, an intellectual property attorney at Harris & Moure, explains .

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Who Really Owns the iPad Trademark in China?

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