Tuesday, February 14, 2012

iPad Trademark In China Isn't About Who's Right - It's about the Two Million Apple Employs

Apple is in a dogfight with a small money losing company called Proview in China that claimed to own the “iPad” trademark in China.  And now, they’re looking to milk it with a Chinese legal system that is less about law and more about who you know and what political points can be scored in the long run.  And let’s not forget that there’s a transfer of power in Beijing at this moment.  Not sure if that’ll have an impact.

Here’s a summary of this.  Apple bought the rights to the trademark “iPad” worldwide from Proview’s Taiwanese counterpart.  Proview in China said that sale doesn’t include the use of the name in China.  Hence, the lawsuit that for the moment looked to be looking good for Proview as it has won a case against Apple.  Apple is appealing, obviously.

Now, Proview is looking to exert pressure on Apple by requesting that China ban export of iPads.  The legal details aren’t important to us mobile warriors.  What’s important is how Beijing will react to all this.

Will it try to strike a blow against a foreign company that also employs about a million or two of its workers?

Yeah, tough call on the surface but if you come down to it, it’s not.  You want political stability and to enhance your reputation about rules of the law or try a go at nationalism.  And Beijing cannot allow underlings to handle this because they’re looking for their own self-interests, not that of their country.  So, they’ll need to step in and reach some kind of a deal on this quickly.

Oh, not that anyone in China is reading this blog but trying to get Apple to capitulate by taking away few dozen iPads is not going to scare anyone.  If anything, I reckon this is just a show until Apple “wins” its appeal or a deal is struck.

This is just the political and economic reality in China.

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