Thursday, February 23, 2012

What's in a Name?

What's in a name?

Apparently, potentially millions of dollars. In Shanghai, China, Apple Inc. is engaged in a heated legal battle with a small Chinese electronics outfit.

Shenzen Proview Technology claims that Apple Inc. has no right to use the product name iPad in mainland China. On the other hand, Apple claims that the rights to the iPad name has been sold to it (Apple) by Shenzen Proview's affiliate way back in 2009.

Disputes over trademarks, trade names or product names are commonplace in today's global economy. It has become much easier to spot small mom-and-pop companies half way around the world marketing products bearing the same name as the big boys in the West.

In the case of Shenzen Proview, they used to market a product which they call an "Internet Personal Access Device" or IPAD. Although it hasn't manufactured the product in years, it still claims that Apple cannot market the popular iPad using such a name.

Given that Shenzen Proview is in deep financial trouble, I guess there is no harm in trying to squeeze a couple of million dollars from a multi-billion dollar corporation. Unfortunately for them, the Shanghai court saw through their ruse and threw out the trademark violation case. According to the court, there was no law or regulation which prohibited Apple from selling the iPad in China. Better luck next time, guys!

Norman Roland E. Ocana III, Entry #8

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