Here’s something I wasn’t expecting to read today. It looks like Apple has found itself in a copyright dispute in China over the name “iPad”. Yeah, that’s a pretty big name to be in a copyright dispute over.
According to Chinese firm Proview Technology, Apple is violating copyright laws by using the name “iPad” in the Chinese marketplace. Proview claims they originally registered the name “iPad” in Taiwan and in mainland China in 2000 and 2001, respectively. And even though Apple did in fact purchase the iPad trademark from Proview in 2009 for $55,000, that only applied to the Taiwan market, not China.
Apple purchased the iPad trademark in Taiwan through a company called IP Application Development. And according to Proview Chairman Yang Rongshan, he did not know IP Application Development was even connected to Apple.
Yang commented, “It is arrogant of Apple to just ignore our rights and go ahead selling the iPad in this market, and we will oppose that… Besides that, we are in big financial trouble and the trademarks are a valuable asset that could help us sort out part of that trouble.”
According to Proview, the copyright laws are still in place in China, which just so happens to be Apple’s fastest growing marketplace in the world. Proview goes on to claim that for each iPad sold, they are entitled to compensation.
Not only is Proview seeking compensation for the copyright violations in China, they are also attempting to shut down Apple’s iPad sales in the country. All of the above spells big trouble for Apple, especially with the iPad 3 release looming.
The iPad 3 is expected to be released sometime in March, with an announcement coming by the end of this month. But if Apple is in fact shut down in China, then the companies’ fastest growing marketplace in the world could be in serious trouble.