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When is an iPad not an iPad? When you’re in China.

Lately, when you hear about Apple filing a lawsuit, it usually involves them fighting with Samsung over the uncanny resemblance some of their tablets and phones have to the iPhone and iPad.

This latest suit, though, has made a bit of a left turn into the Twilight Zone. Apple has lost a trademark dispute in China—over the use of the “iPad” trademark.

Yes, you read that correctly.

A Chinese court has ruled that Proview Technology has owned the “iPad” name for use in China since about 2000. Apple thought it had secured the trademark from Proview’s Taiwan arm of the company, but a Chinese court says that the Shenzhen arm of the company is the proper owner of the name. That means the deal Apple made with Proview (Taiwan)–or, more accurately the UK company that bought the rights from them—didn’t mean anything and now Proview (Shenzhen) is seeking over one billion dollars in “compensation” from Apple.

We’ll have to see where this ends up, but all things considered, the irony is overpowering…


M. Chris Stevens
the authorOWC Chris S.
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  • If Steve was still here, he would literally have the chop sticks to tell the Chinese to take a hike just like he told google and Samsung.

    • Hey…good one….listen to our next episode of the OWC Radio Show where we discuss how Apple can’t sell the iPad in China due to another firm owning the trademark there…that Apple actually paid to use!

  • Apple should rename the iPad in China as the “Apple i” They can even play with the name, calling it the “i ” – an i followed by 3 spaces.

    Everyone can then call it the iPad except for Apple employees.

  • Actually figured it was something like that, I just had to jerk the OWC chain a little. #nothingnewunderthesun

    I will stop by booth 513 at Macworld Expo, and give you the opportunity to meet your accuser.



  • Apple should take as much manufacturing out of China as soon as they can. Then see what the Shenzhen government thinks of that. Apple has a lot of money to help Foxconn open plants in Brazil or elsewhere. (As great as it would be for Apple to return manufacturing to the US, I know it won’t happen.)

  • I understand China is a trade partner- so much stuff is made there because it’s cheap to produce there- BUT China is also Communist!
    Of course Apple legally purchased the rights from the UK Company that owned the rights to the name. The deal “did-mean-something” then, but China is a country that doesn’t respect the rights of their citizen’s and certainly not the rights of Big Corporations like Apple!
    That is why China (the Government) does nothing about Fake Apple Stores! The Court that ruled against Apple is Communist- THERE RULINGS MEAN NOTHING in the world.
    We need to stop supporting there country as Trade Partners and go elsewhere for exports.
    Sadly, every computer is Made in China or of Chinese Parts.

    • Actually Greg, this comes down to a case of GMTA….OWC Chris wrote the post from my input and I have final review/edit of all posts. So…case of coincidence…or neither party is as original in idea as each thought. ;-)

      And as I’m the man behind the Twitter “curtain”, OWC Chris wouldn’t have seen you Tweet. Actually :-) he can’t stand the portal (that’s putting it mildly) so no way he saw your Tweet. given for being creative and posting on our blog…thanks!