Yesterday many of us enjoyed coverage of Apple's unveiling of the new iPad. But as we we gawked in amazement over the new device, officials at Chinese-based Proview devised yet another ploy to halt local iPad sales. The latest action comes from a state-run creditor claiming to own the rights to the iPad name.
The entity released an open letter to Chinese iPad retailers and vendors claiming that they will take legal action against any party who persists in the sale and distribution of any Apple branded iPad products. The Wall Street Journal China provides the following translation of the letter:
An open letter to China iPad vendors and dealers
Proview Technology (Shenzhen) is the legal registrant of the trademark “IPAD” (No. 1590557, registered with the trademark office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce) and shall enjoy exclusive rights to use the trademark. In accordance with the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China, the use of a trademark that is identical with or similar to “IPAD” on goods or packaging by any entity or individual without our authorization shall constitute an infringement of our exclusive rights.
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.
In accordance with Article 52 of the Trademark Law and Article 50 of the Rules for Implementation of the Trademark Law, any of the following acts shall constitute an infringement of the exclusive right to use a registered trademark: “Deliberately providing convenient conditions for any act that infringes on another person’s right to exclusive use of a registered trademark whether through warehousing, transportation, shipment or concealment, etc.”
Additionally, Huizhou Intermediate Court in Guangdong Province and administrative authorities for industry and commerce in many cities have already produced rulings and determinations aimed at stopping several activities that infringe on our exclusive trademark rights.
Now 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!
Proview Technology Shenzhen March 7th, 2012
In case you aren't up on the happening with Proview and Apple here's a short video which addresses Apple's options in the case:
We'll keep you up to date on what actions come as a result of the letter's release. According to Apple, their disputes with Proview have been settled, but this blatant action against the iPad manufacturer is a sign that this issue won't die easily. Looks like things are really heating up.