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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Taking a bite out of Apple?

I just read a very interesting article here. In a nutshell, there's this Chinese tech company called Proview that created a product in 2000 called the IPAD (Internet Personal Access Device). The IPAD was sold throughout Asia.

In 2009 Apple wanted that name for a product it had in development (and wanted to sell throughout Asia as well as the rest of the world), so Apple created a special purpose company called IP Application Development Ltd. to contact Proview and negotiate the possible sale of the IPAD name, based solely on the fact that it was an acronym for their company's name. Proview had no idea that IP Application Development was even remotely affiliated with Apple.

The sale went through, but once Proview realized they had been duped by one of the leading technology manufacturers in the world (worth more than $460 billion), they were not happy. A Proview spokesman said, "While some technology companies create special purpose vehicles in order to obtain trademarks, in this case the sole function of Apple's special purpose vehicle was intentional misrepresentation, and an effort to fraudulently induce Proview Taiwan into a sale of the IPAD trademarks."

Essentially, these guys thought they were selling to the Washington University Public Health Forum but they were really selling to the Walt Disney Company for way less than Disney would have paid had they known that's who the buyer was. D'oh!

If Proview wins their fraud lawsuit the iPad trademarks in the EU, Mexico and throughout Asia would revert back to Proview. I love Apple and its products, and I typically loathe Chinese products and their shoddy workmanship, but I gotta root for the little guy on this one. Shame on Apple for being so devious and underhanded.