Report: Chinese Officials Seizing iPads Because Someone Else Registered That Name First

Apple could have a pretty major problem, to the tune of $38 million in fines and a huge hit to sales, as claims by another company that they registered the name iPad for use in mainland China in 2001 gain momentum. One report says officials were seizing iPads from store shelves as a result of the issue.

PCMag cites the Hebei Youth Daily, which said authorities removed around 45 iPads from Shijiazhuang stores in Northern China. Once other stores heard of the inspection teams, they took the devices from the shelves preemptively.

Proview, the company which claims to have registered the iPad name in 2001, complained to the district’s Administration of Industry and Commerce team, which reportedly took action starting on Feb. 9. Fines could reach $38 million if Apple is found to be in violation.

Other seizures haven’t been reported yet, and the iPad 2 is still on sale in the Chinese online Apple store.

Chinese Authorities Seize iPads Over Trademark Dispute [PCMag]


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  1. Cat says:

    You’re welcome, M.B.

  2. dolemite says:

    So..apparently they take copyright and trademarks seriously, only if it protects companies in their own country. Got it!

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Given the history of China, that could very well be the case. Also, a few palms may have been greased.

      I don’t wish to speak ill of China, but I will speak honestly. They have some ways to go when it comes to democracy. Of course, so do we (the U.S.).

      • Jaynor says:

        Considering that they are a Socialist State, they probably don’t feel they have any ways to go when it comes to democracy. Just sayin’.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Not true, actually. The citizens clamor for more freedom, but the State, yes, the State wants to keep everything status quo. Right now it’s a real balancing act of placating its citizens while still keeping a socialist state. It’s going in the right direction, but slowly. It may eventually be the example of how socialist works with democracy.

          • Jaynor says:

            Which citizens? Where do they live? Oh, them… we’re moving them to a forced labor camp in the northwest, don’t worry about them.

          • Talmonis says:

            China is Socialist in name only. They practice state capitalism to the most corrupt degree ever seen.

        • Kate says:

          Democracy and socialism are not mutually exclusive. duh

        • Alisha Gray says:

          China is even farther from Socialism than the USA is. They aren’t even Communist any more, more like some wacked-out nightmare Capitalist offshoot.

      • Darury says:

        Just so I’m clear.. you’re comparing the issues in the U.S. with a country that has no qualms about executing political prisoners for organ harvesting? Ok then…

      • vorpalette says:

        I have a family friend who travels to China for business, and I can attest that they are definitely not interested in doing anything for a non-Chinese company. The company that he visits is into his employer for something like a million dollars, and outright refuses to pay. They’ve said several times that they aren’t going to pay at all, and there’s nothing that can be done about it. :(

    • crispyduck13 says:


    • katarzyna says:

      Came here to say the same thing.

  3. Echomatrix says:

    Im waiting for the day Apple says “screw this we are leaveing”. They know the Chinese are corrupt so why doesn’t apple start throwing their weight around. Get all the major producers at Foxconn to threaten a boycott and you will have one submissive goverment. I’m sure Microsoft and those others would love this chance

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Because China has them over a barrel just as much as they do to China.

      If the corporations leave, then the cost of creating merchandise will go up significantly for them, and the revenue for China goes down. It’s a win-win to stay and lose-lose to call it quits.

      The only advantage that the corporations have in this is that if they can find an alternative to China they can utilize it. The chinese can’t find an alternative to having their own citizens employed.

  4. Cat says:

    I’m off to register every word that I can think of by putting an “i” in front of it.


    • McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

      I’ve already registered iAm for the mechanical self affirming device, which I will gladly license to all researchers implementing AI for the low low fee of $10.000,00 per device!

      • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

        The Fifth Law of Robotics:

        “A robot must know that it is a robot.”

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          What’s the 4th? There are only 3 laws.

          • McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

            1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
            2) A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
            3) ????
            4) Profit!

          • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

            0) A robot may not injure humanity, or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.
            1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
            2) A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
            3) A robot must protect it’s own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second laws.

            The Zeroth law came into play later, as the robots became advanced enough that they began to guide their own development and gained more flexibility in thought, to the point where they could comprehend the idea that what was best for humanity as a whole may cause harm to an individual.

          • Liquid-X says:

            You forgot the classified fourth law:

            4) Any attempt to arrest a senior officer of OCP results in shutdown.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      “iOpener. It’s a real Eye Opener!”

      I don’t know what the product would be, but you can clearly see the thing sells itself.

    • Difdi says:


    • caffeyw says:

      What will Iballs do exactly? Sorry to funny not to ask!

  5. crispyduck13 says:

    I read the linked article and a further linked article “detailing” the court case. There are a lot of details missing here, we obviously don’t know the whole story.

    • sphenodont says:

      Even better, it ties into the global politics of mainland China versus Taiwan. From the report I heard on the radio earlier, Apple licensed the name “iPad” from Proview’s Taiwanese subsidiary, but the Chinese government is not recognizing that as a valid contract, as they don’t acknowledge Taiwan.

  6. DangerMouth says:

    iPad was a horrible name anyway.

  7. maxamus2 says:

    But the irony is, they make the iPad there!!!

  8. tinmanx says:

    Sounds like some officials wanted free iPads. The iPads cost as much as a year’s pay, it’s a free for all for those with the authority and access.

    • Firethorn says:

      Exactly what I was thinking as well. They’re not grabbing the devices as evidence, they’re seizing them so they can have the hottest toys.

    • Peter V says:

      Wow, The Balls on China
      *Tim Cook at WWDC 2012*
      “Our new product this year is…” [Finish The Sentence, something related to iPads, This Story and Balls]

  9. Cosmo_Kramer says:

    Way to miss the whole point, M.B.

    Proview did register the name. Apple licensed the name from them. Apple believed they were licensing the name for use worldwide. Proview believed they were licensing the name for use worldwide EXCLUDING China. That’s the issue here.

    I don’t know which side is right, but since a Chinese court has jurisdiction it doesn’t really matter which side is right.

    • Carlos Spicy Weiner says:

      With the way the Chinese government turns a blind eye to rampant plagiarism and copyright infringement by Chinese companies against anyone doing business there, I say suck it up, Proview :-p. The Chinese have to be THE biggest bunch of hypocrites in the world.

  10. geopapa says:

    This from a country known for piracy!!!!

  11. Carlos Spicy Weiner says:

    ROFLMFAO!!! The word Ironic just doesn’t do this justice…Ha Ha Ha Ha…

  12. Ayanami says:

    This is what happens when you sue everyone over BS. Rather than even try for a settlement this company is simply moving right to cause hurt mode, because they feel that a settlement is pointless. Serves Apple right.

  13. ovalseven says:

    Isn’t China the country that gives us products like this one?

    Maybe Apple should just rename it “iPaad” or something like that.

    • daveinva says:

      Wait, is that a photo of an *actual gun* on the box?

      Man, MUCH better than the stupid light guns you get over here!

  14. RayanneGraff says:

    I’m cackling with glee at this. Take THAT, Apple, you sue-happy gang of ne’er-do-wells.

  15. prosumer1 says:

    Fuck them. If they don’t want iPads, then they can have the fake stuff. Dirty Chinese scums! Let’s see how good their shit stacks up.

  16. aikoto says:

    So instead of fining Apple or banning their sale, they’re actually STEALING apple product. Nice one China. Stay classy.

    • Rachacha says:

      The US does the same things for products that it believes violate Copywrite or Trademark…that is when it discovers them

  17. dwtomek says:

    Looks like (reatively) free labor sometimes comes with hidden fees. China is learning well.

  18. PhillipSC says:

    are they also seizing the take ipad clones

  19. Rachacha says:

    One fact that was apparently left out was that Apple created a subsidiary “IP Application Development” (get it IPAD) that purchased the naming license, however the name owner did not realize that they were dealing with Apple, or they would have asked for more money.

  20. Not Given says:

    All you’re iPads are belong to us

  21. yankinwaoz says:

    Yea. I’m sure those seized iPad’s aren’t going to end up in the homes of the corrupt officials who ordered the confiscation.

  22. Yo Howdy says:

    China is just a bunch of petty criminals. We do business with them because they are very efficient at what they do, when they aren’t stealing from us.
    It’s amazing how they are incredibly inept at finding the source of the factories that produce all the counterfeit Rolex and Vuitton products, but yet will devote the full power of the state to enforce a trademark issue.