iPhone News Desk
Apple Says It Was Snookered
Apple said, “Proview didn’t want to pay its debts in 2009 when it sold the iPad trademarks"
By: Maureen O'Gara
Mar. 19, 2012 07:15 AM
In the chattiest Apple's been about the iPad trademark mess it's in in Mainland China it said Tuesday that the financially squeezed Shenzhen Proview Technology, which claims to still own the mark there, insisted on selling the IP in 2009 through its Taiwan affiliate so its many creditors wouldn't know it got the money.
Apple claims it was snookered into dealing with the Taiwan subsidiary, which represented that it controlled two iPad marks in China even though they technically belong to Proview Shenzhen.
Apple said, "Proview didn't want to pay its debts in 2009 when it sold the iPad trademarks, and because they 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."
The AP said Proview's lawyer Xie Xianghui found the story improbable. "It does not make sense for Proview to ask Apple to sign with Proview Taiwan to avoid paying this small amount of money to the creditors," he's quoted as saying. Apple paid all of $55,000 for the marks in 10 countries including Europe.
Apple's lawyer reportedly drafted the agreement. Xiao said he "made a silly mistake" in not clarifying ownership.
The companies are waiting for a Shenzhen court to decide who owns what.
Apple has so far blown off Proview's appeals to settle out-of-court for an exorbitant sum.
It claims "Proview is misleading Chinese courts and customers with claims that the iPad trademarks cannot be transferred, or that mistakes were made in handling the transaction."
Apple did not address the claims of a group of Chinese banks that it seized Proview's assets in 2009 and controls the marks.
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