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Proview Warns All China Retailers Against Selling New iPad
Proview, the company battling Apple over the iPad name in China, delivers a stern warning to Chinese retailers.
The war over the right to use the iPad name in China reached yet a new level yesterday when Proview, the company disputing Apple’s right to use the name, issued a stern warning to Chinese retailers in the wake of the new iPad release.
The warning came in the form of an open letter published by the Wall Street Journal, which immediately spread throughout the local news channels in mainland China. It begins with a statement of assertions many are already familiar with, namely that Proview is the legal registrant of the trademark “IPAD” in China.
The letter also addresses Apple’s recent appeal by stating, “Although Apple Inc has filed an appeal following the rejection of its complaint about the registration of this trademark by the Shenzhen Intermediate Court, we (Proview Technology Shenzhen) remain the only legal holder of the trademark, and enjoy every right to prohibit another entity or individual from using the trademark.”
But that last passage isn’t the strongest part of the letter. Proview saved its most aggressive message for Chinese retailers—on the Internet and in brick-and-mortar stores.
The salient passage reads, “we solemnly inform vendors and dealers (including e-distributorships) of Apple iPads (including the iPad 3) in China that they should immediately stop all infringing activities such as warehousing, transportation, mailing, concealing, etc. Any above activities shall be deemed as a deliberate infringement and we will, without prior notice, take the most severe measures possible to hold the infringers responsible for any legal liability, including but not limited to administrative, civil and criminal liabilities. You are hereby informed!”
The letter is, in effect, an open legal threat to any Chinese retailer daring to sell the device. And while Proview’s threats are in essence more saber-rattling than anything resembling rule of law, would-be iPad sellers in China will likely think twice before going down a road that could indeed lead to costly court dates.
However, in recent weeks local experts have pointed out that in a country as large as China, with so many electronics outlets scattered across a nation of 1.3 billion people, it would be nearly impossible for Proview to enforce any real iPad ban on its own. Nevertheless, this latest public stance reveals that Proview has no intention of going away quietly. Until the Chinese courts settle the matter, or Apple decides to pay a settlement, most of China—official Apple stores notwithstanding—may have to wait for its first glimpse of the stunning new iPad Retina Display.
For more, see PCMag’s Hands On With the New iPad and the slideshow below.
By Adario Strange, PCMag