Apple Inc, one of the most trigger happy companies around when it comes to lawsuits, may finally be getting a taste of its own medicine. While their tablet, the iPad, may be leading the market in terms of market share, apparently its name as ‘iPad’ cannot be used anymore in the most populated country in the world: China.
Apparently, the name ‘iPad’ was already copyrighted in 2000 by Proview Technology (Shenzhen), a subsidiary of Hong Kong Proview International Holdings Limited. Apple had purchased the right to use the name in Taipei by paying them $35,000, but according to the lawsuit they did not have the right to use it in Mainland China.
Says Huang Yiding of the Hejun Vanguard Group,”Apple’s actions are strange. They had not obtained the rights to use the ‘iPad’ trademark when they began to sell the iPad on the Chinese mainland in September last year. Their copyright infringement is very clear. The laws are still there and they sell their products in defiance of laws. The more products they sell, the more they need to compensate,”
Yesterday, a local Chinese Court passed a verdict in the legal battle: Apple will have to either:
1. Stop selling the iPad under that name and change the product’s name in China
2. Pay Proview a sum of $1.6 billion for the rights to the iPad name in China.
Apple may appeal this decision in a higher court, but as the situation stands, the case was ruled against them. It is not clear whether Apple will have to immediately modify the product name in China.
Whereas, in India the iPad was one of the most recognized tablet in the market.
In a world where Apple has been suing companies like Samsung left right and centre, and judges have mostly been ruling in their favor, this is against the norm. It will be interesting to see how matters proceed.