Judge Mark Pierce, who presided over the case, dismissed the case late last week, agreeing with an argument presented by Apple’s lawyers that the two parties had agreed in contract to settle any disputes in Hong Kong, according to a copy of the court order obtained by Bloomberg.
Before Apple brought the iPad to market, it set up a shell corporation in Mainland China and Hong Kong called IP Application Development Ltd. to purchase rights to the name “IPAD” from ProView. ProView, however, argues that Apple only dealt with one arm of its company and the company, as a whole, still retains rights to the name.
As Hardware Canucks previously reported, some analysts have suggested that ProView is acting as a patent troll, looking quick cash payout to help restructure the company, as it has no apparent plans to monetize the “iPad” trademark under its own volition. During a Feburary interview with The Economist, ProView lawyer Xie Xianghu could not produce a ProView “iPad” – an Internet Personal Assistance Device – for inspection and the address he provided for ProView’s factories was a desolate warehouse.
In February, two journalists from The Wall Street Journal uncovered press materials for ProView’s “iPad” – a blatant iMac knock-off that the company sold between 1998 and 2009.
While the dismissal of this case has allowed Apple to declare victory on the American front of this patent war, their operations in the Chinese theatre aren’t going as well.
According to a report by the China Daily, Apple and ProView are still locked in negotiations and China-based industry observers are saying they’ve noticed a definite change in Apple’s attitude towards the case.
The China Daily also reports that Fu Shuangjian, deputy director of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, said at a late-April press conference that Proview Technology is still the rightful owner of the iPad trademark.
“According to Chinese law, both parties involved in a trademark transfer should apply with us together (to make the transfer legal),” he said.