Apple yesterday launched iPad 3 versions and on the other hand the Cupertino-based Chinese iPad trademark battle seems not to be going to end soon – latest to add – Proview, the troubled company behind the whole matter, has asked Chinese distributors to stop selling the iPad since from the time Apple brings out its latest version to the market.
“Anybody who continues to do so will be seen as intentionally infringing rights and the company will adopt the most severe measures by taking legal action,” Proview Technology said in the letter to iPad suppliers and resellers in China. Rachel He, a lawyer with the firm Guangdong Sun-Kindle said: “This is Proview’s strategy to give Apple more pressure in the Chinese market, to try and add another blow to its iPad sales there.”
The move is the latest twist in long-running legal battles between both the companies. Yesterday The Bank of China with seven other Proview’s creditor’s banks has indicated that the dispute is no longer in Proview’s hands, instead of that, it is now between Apple and the eight banks.
A week ago, the Chinese creditors have appealed for Taiwanese firm Proview to be put into liquidation, and even freezing the case in accordance with Chinese law. The Fubon Insurance, Proview creditor is in the process of reclaiming debts from Proview which totals at around $8.68 million as of November 2010.
Update: The letter, translated by the Wall Street Journal‘s China Real Time Report blog, was issued yesterday just hours after the iPad launch, and it is very much a case of more of the same from the financially troubled firm.
An open letter to China iPad vendors and dealers
Proview Technology (Shenzhen) is the legal registrant of the trademark “IPAD” (No. 1590557, registered with the trademark office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce) and shall enjoy exclusive rights to use the trademark. In accordance with the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China, the use of a trademark that is identical with or similar to “IPAD” on goods or packaging by any entity or individual without our authorization shall constitute an infringement of our exclusive rights.
Although Apple Inc has filed an appeal following the rejection of its complaint about the registration of this trademark by the Shenzhen Intermediate Court, we (Proview Technology Shenzhen) remain the only legal holder of the trademark, and enjoy every right to prohibit another entity or individual from using the trademark.
In accordance with Article 52 of the Trademark Law and Article 50 of the Rules for Implementation of the Trademark Law, any of the following acts shall constitute an infringement of the exclusive right to use a registered trademark: “Deliberately providing convenient conditions for any act that infringes on another person’s right to exclusive use of a registered trademark whether through warehousing, transportation, shipment or concealment, etc.”
Additionally, Huizhou Intermediate Court in Guangdong Province and administrative authorities for industry and commerce in many cities have already produced rulings and determinations aimed at stopping several activities that infringe on our exclusive trademark rights.
Now we solemnly inform vendors and dealers (including e-distributorships) of Apple iPads (including the iPad 3) in China that they should immediately stop all infringing activities such as warehousing, transportation, mailing, concealing, etc. Any above activities shall be deemed as a deliberate infringement and we will, without prior notice, take the most severe measures possible to hold the infringers responsible for any legal liability, including but not limited to administrative, civil and criminal liabilities.
You are hereby informed!
Proview Technology Shenzhen March 7th, 2012