Tags Proview

Apple denied iPad mini trademark in the US

iPad-mini-logoBBC reported today that Apple was recently denied a trademark for “iPad mini” after authorities in the United States claimed the term was “merely descriptive.” Apple still has until July to convince the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but its official stance thus far according to a recently surfaced document is that iPad mini fails to “create a unique, incongruous, or non-descriptive meaning in relation to the goods being small handheld mobile devices comprising tablet computers capable of providing internet access.” In other words, “mini” simply describes a variation of the device, rather than a unique feature that differentiates it from the full-sized iPad.

An excerpt from the USPTO document:

The term “IPAD” is descriptive when applied to applicant’s goods because the prefix “I” denotes “internet.” According to the attached evidence, the letter “i” or “I” used as a prefix and would be understood by the purchasing public to refer to the Internet when used in relation to Internet-related products or services.  Applicant’s goods are identified as “capable of providing access to the Internet”.

The term “PAD” is also descriptive of the applied for goods. The term “pad” refers to a “pad computer” or “internet pad device”, terms used synonymously to refer to tablet computers, or “a complete computer contained in a touch screen.” Please see the attached dictionary definition. In addition, the attached excerpts from third party websites show descriptive use of the term “pad” in connection with tablet computers. This marketplace evidence shows that the term “pad” would be perceived by consumers as descriptive of “pad computers” with internet and interactive capability. Applicant’s goods are identified as “a handheld digital mobile electronic device comprising tablet computer”.

The term “MINI” in the applied for mark is also descriptive of a feature of applicant’s product. Specifically, the attached evidence shows this wording means “something that is distinctively smaller than other members of its type or class”.  See attached definition. The word “mini” has been held merely descriptive of goods that are produced and sold in miniature form.

The main request by the USPTO is that Apple added a disclaimer clarifying that it is only seeking the exclusive right to “MINI” as part of the entire iPad trademark. That would prevent claiming exclusive rights to the word mini, which the USPTO noted, “others may need to use to describe or show their goods or services in the marketplace.”

This isn’t the first time that Apple has run into hurdles related to its iPad trademark. It previously fought cases in both California and China with companies claiming to own rights to the iPad name.


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Jordan Kahn

April 1st

Apple

Mac

Apple Settles Chinese iPad Name Dispute With $60 Million [Ipad]

Apple has been battling a long legal dispute in China for months with a company who claimed ownership of the iPad name. During the course of proceedings iPads were pulled from Chinese shelves and even global sales were threatened—but now, Apple has ponied up a $60 million settlement. More »


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Jamie Condliffe

July 2nd

Apple

Apple Settles Chinese iPad Name Dispute With $60 Million [Ipad]

Apple has been battling a long legal dispute in China for months with a company who claimed ownership of the iPad name. During the course of proceedings iPads were pulled from Chinese shelves and even global sales were threatened—but now, Apple has ponied up a $60 million settlement. More »


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Jamie Condliffe

July 2nd

Apple

Apple reportedly offers Proview $16M for Chinese iPad trademark

A judge in the United States dismissed Proview’s suit two days ago against Apple in the U.S., and it seems the dispute may be wrapping up soon, because the companies have been discussing a settlement amount.

A report by Sina (via the Beijing Times/TNW) claims that Apple offered $16 million as a settlement for the iPad trademark in China, which Apple was duped out of prior to the product’s 2010 launch. Apple bought the Chinese trademark using secret subsidiary IPAD, but the Taiwanese arm of Proview had no right to sell it, because it was a separate entity from the Chinese company that owned rights to “IPAD” in China.

Proview China is now in bankruptcy to the tune of $63 million to Chinese banks and others; so $16 million is a long way from bringing it back from the dead. However, the creditors may choose to take what they can get.

By the way, the new iPad is conspicuously late to China—with some even wondering if it is because of the trademark dispute.



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Seth Weintraub

May 10th

Apple

Proview’s U.S. iPad suit against Apple tossed out

Proview's US iPad suit tossed out

A California judge tossed out Proview’s trademark claims against Apple’s iPad tablet. The Chinese company filed a lawsuit in California’s superior court in February, claiming Apple’s license to use the iPad name was invalid, a claim Apple disputes. Judge Mark Pierce last week dismissed the case on the grounds that the two parties had previously agreed to settle any disagreements in Hong Kong, Reuters reported. Apple and Proview have been locked in a high-profile legal dispute over whether or not Apple has the right to use the use the iPad name in China and elsewhere. The iPad-maker maintains that it licensed the trademark from Proview in 2009.

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Dan Graziano

May 10th

Apple

Apple offers to settle Proview iPad trademark dispute, ‘Big Gap’ remains in reaching agreement

According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple offered to settle with Chinese company Proview after a long, ongoing battle over the iPad trademark in China. While the amount of compensation offered was not disclosed, Proview’s lawyers have not agreed to the deal and claim a “big gap’ remains in reaching a settlement.

Recently, there was speculation that the trademark battle might have led to Apple holding off from launching the new iPad in the country. The case and negotiation process will continue at the Higher People’s Court of Guangdong, while separate complaints filed by Proview in February will seek compensation for alleged infringement of IP laws in the country.

In an interview with Xinhua on Sunday, Proview’s lawyer Xie Xianghui was positive negotiations were progressing:

“We feel that the attitude of Apple Inc. has changed. Although they expressed that they were willing to negotiate, they have never taken any action before. But now, they are having conversations with us, and we have begun to consult on the case.”



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Jordan Kahn

May 7th

Apple

Apple and Proview likely to settle dispute over iPad trademark

Last week, Apple and Proview initiated talks in an attempt to resolve an ongoing legal dispute over the iPad trademark, and the Chinese company is confident that it will receive a settlement offer from Apple, the Associated Press reports. “It is likely that we will settle out of court. The Guangdong High Court is helping to arrange it and the court also expects to do so,” said Ma Dongxiao, a lawyer for Proview. “Actually Proview always expected to settle out of court from the beginning. I don’t know if Apple has changed its attitude, but I believe that the key point now is the price.” In a previous statement, Apple claimed it would never “knowingly abuse someone else’s trademarks,” and said that Proview “still owe a lot of people a lot of money, they are now unfairly trying to get more from Apple for a trademark we already paid for.” Fu Shuangjian, the Deputy Director of China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce, however, has already stated that Proview is still the legitimate owner of the iPad trademark in the country. If the companies cannot reach a settlement, the Guangdong High Court will rule over the matter.

Read[Associated Press] Read [WSJ]

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Dan Graziano

April 25th

Apple

Apple could lose China iPad trademark, boasts Chinese govt official as groups enter mediation

Apple’s iPad trademark dispute with cash-strapped display company Proview has continued to drag on despite the Chinese company claiming it was in negotiations with Apple as recent as February. Today, several reports suggested Apple and Proview are now involved in court-moderated mediation with senior officials who are boasting Apple could lose the right to the iPad trademark in China. The mediation would be the first confirmation of settlement talks between the two companies. The Associated Press reports:

Apple Inc. risks losing the right to use the iPad trademark in China, a senior official suggested Tuesday, as a Chinese court was seeking to mediate a settlement between the technology giant and a local company challenging its use of the iPad name… Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of the National Copyright Administration, told reporters in Beijing that the government regards Shenzhen Proview Technology as the rightful owner of the trademark for the popular tablet computers

If Apple and Proview are unable to come to a settlement in the talks, Guangdong High Court in southern China will rule over the case in the months to come. According to Deputy Director of China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce Fu Shuangjian (via The Wall Street Journal), Proview is still the legitimate owner of the iPad trademark in the country:

“Currently, Proview Shenzhen is still the legitimate registered owner of the IPAD trademark,” Mr. Fu said. But he indicated that officials are waiting for the Guangdong court’s final judgment, after which the industry and commerce sector “will deal with the case according to law.”

IDC estimated Apple sold 4.1 million iPads in China last year alone, which account for roughly 70 percent of the tablet market. Proview would not disclose the amount of money it is seeking in settlements, but the company’s chairman Yang Rongshan told the WSJ that the company is roughly $400 million in debt.

According to Associated Press, Apple spokesperson Carolyn Wu said “the company had no new comment on the possibility of a settlement with Proview.” However, Apple said in a statement that it would never “knowingly abuse someone else’s trademarks,” and it added Proview “still owe[s] a lot of people a lot of money, they are now unfairly trying to get more from Apple for a trademark we already paid for.”



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Jordan Kahn

April 24th

Apple

Apple could lose China iPad trademark, boasts Chinese govt official as groups enter mediation

Apple’s iPad trademark dispute with cash-strapped display company Proview has continued to drag on despite the Chinese company claiming it was in negotiations with Apple as recent as February. Today, several reports suggested Apple and Proview are now involved in court-moderated mediation with senior officials who are boasting Apple could lose the right to the iPad trademark in China. The mediation would be the first confirmation of settlement talks between the two companies. The Associated Press reports:

Apple Inc. risks losing the right to use the iPad trademark in China, a senior official suggested Tuesday, as a Chinese court was seeking to mediate a settlement between the technology giant and a local company challenging its use of the iPad name… Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of the National Copyright Administration, told reporters in Beijing that the government regards Shenzhen Proview Technology as the rightful owner of the trademark for the popular tablet computers

If Apple and Proview are unable to come to a settlement in the talks, Guangdong High Court in southern China will rule over the case in the months to come. According to Deputy Director of China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce Fu Shuangjian (via The Wall Street Journal), Proview is still the legitimate owner of the iPad trademark in the country:

“Currently, Proview Shenzhen is still the legitimate registered owner of the IPAD trademark,” Mr. Fu said. But he indicated that officials are waiting for the Guangdong court’s final judgment, after which the industry and commerce sector “will deal with the case according to law.”

IDC estimated Apple sold 4.1 million iPads in China last year alone, which account for roughly 70 percent of the tablet market. Proview would not disclose the amount of money it is seeking in settlements, but the company’s chairman Yang Rongshan told the WSJ that the company is roughly $400 million in debt.

According to Associated Press, Apple spokesperson Carolyn Wu said “the company had no new comment on the possibility of a settlement with Proview.” However, Apple said in a statement that it would never “knowingly abuse someone else’s trademarks,” and it added Proview “still owe[s] a lot of people a lot of money, they are now unfairly trying to get more from Apple for a trademark we already paid for.”



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Jordan Kahn

April 24th

Apple

Apple in settlement talks with Proview over iPad trademark dispute

Apple and Proview have initiated talks in an attempt to resolve an ongoing legal dispute over the iPad trademark, IDG News Services reported on Friday. Earlier this week, a Chinese high court recommended the two companies find a way to mediate the ongoing dispute. The mediation talks were voluntary, however both companies agreed to meet. “I think there is some hope the talks will lead to a resolution,” Zhao Zhanling, a legal expert on China’s information technology law, said, adding that if the negotiations were to fail, the higher court will be forced to move ahead and make a ruling. Apple and Proview have been locked in a high-profile legal dispute over whether or not Apple has the right to use the use the iPad name in China and elsewhere. If Apple were to lose the case, the Cupertino-based company could be banned from selling the iPad in China. Apple maintains that it licensed the trademark from Proview in 2009, however the Chinese company claims the transaction in question is invalid.

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Dan Graziano

April 20th

Apple
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