Proview wins in intermediate Chinese court, but Apple fires back with threat of defamation lawsuit

| Monday, February 20th, 2012

A lower court in China has sided with Proview, and ruled that sales of the iPad within China violates trademarks owned by Proview, despite the fact that there’s strong evidence to the contrary. Yesterday, All Things D published emails from Proview Technology representatives to Apple representatives that clearly illustrate that Proview was willing to sell the iPad trademark to Apple for £35,000 in 2009.

That still hasn’t stopped the Intermediate People’s Court in Huizhou from ruling that Apple must stop selling the iPad immediately. It’s mind boggling, isn’t it?

Apple about to get medieval with the defamation

Proview may have won in an intermediate court, but that isn’t stopping Apple from exploring alternative solutions, including a lawsuit over defamation, and for potentially ruining Apple’s reputation by continually releasing information to the press that’s contrary to fact. Today, Apple sent a letter to Proview that asks Yang Rongshan to stop deliberately releasing false information to the media.

According to PCWorld, the letter states:

[quote]It is inappropriate to release information contrary to the facts to the media, especially when such disclosures have the effect of wrongfully causing damage to Apple’s reputation[/quote]

Given the evidence published over at All Things D, it’s hard not to view this Proview lawsuit as just another patent troll looking to get paid. While we don’t know the details about why the Intermediate People’s Court ruled in favor of Proview, we certainly see evidence that Proview at one point had interest in selling the trademark to Apple. What remains to be seen is if Proview signed the contract that they requested Apple send them in 2009, as evidenced by the images in the All Things D post. It’s certainly not proof enough to prove that the sale actually took place, but it is proof that negotiations were happening.

Image Credit: snapshotaesthetic

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