Wednesday, May 9, 2012

More Intellectual Property Lawsuits for Apple

Story first appeared in The Wall Street Journal.

A California judge threw out Proview Electronics Co.'s lawsuit against Apple Inc. over the iPad trademark in China, the latest twist in the legal fight over the rightful owner of the tablet's name.

The Judge in the Superior Court of the State of California in Santa Clara County on May 4 approved Apple's motion to dismiss the suit, which was first filed in February. The order wasn't previously disclosed, according to a San Diego Trademarks Lawyer.

A California judge throws out Proview Electronics' iPad-trademark lawsuit against Apple, but the suit in China is still pending.

In its suit, Proview alleged that it was deceived when the Cupertino, Calif., company acquired the iPad trademarks from it in 2009.

Proview has made the same claims in a court in China's southern Guangdong province, where the dispute has escalated into one of the highest-profile intellectual property cases for a foreign company in China. That court has urged Apple and Proview to try to reach a settlement.

Proview Electronics is the Taiwanese subsidiary of Proview International Holdings Ltd. and the unit from which Apple acquired trademarks for the iPad name.

After Proview took its legal case to the U.S., Apple argued for the case to be dismissed on the grounds that the parties had agreed to settle any legal disagreements in Hong Kong.

The Judge upheld that view, writing that Proview failed to provide evidence that the selection of Hong Kong was unreasonable or unfair, according to a copy of the order.

An Apple spokeswoman reiterated the company's earlier claim that it had rightfully purchased the iPad name from Proview, adding that Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China.

A lawyer for Proview said in a statement that the decision to dismiss was not based on the merits of the case, and that Proview is looking forward to presenting the facts in the case to the appellate court. Proview states that they are confident that the facts will show that Apple fraudulently obtained the iPad trademarks.

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