Monday, February 27th 2012

Proview Taiwan Charges Apple with Fraud and Unfair Competition

Taiwan-based Proview Electronics Company, Ltd., ("Proview Taiwan"), a leading producer of high-quality monitors for computers and media devices, announced today that it has filed an amended complaint in California Superior Court in Santa Clara, accusing Apple Inc. of fraud and unfair competition.

Separately, in another action, Shenzhen-based Proview Technology Shenzhen Co, Ltd. continues to pursue litigation against Apple in China. In the Chinese lawsuit, Proview Technology Shenzhen Co, Ltd. has demonstrated that the IPAD trademark for Mainland China was never assigned to Apple or its affiliates. The legal questions and remedies in the China and U.S. lawsuits are separate and distinct and have no bearing on one another.


The amended complaint was filed to provide additional information regarding Apple's fraudulent actions committed against Proview. Among the many allegations in the U.S complaint are fraud by intentional misrepresentation, fraud by concealment, fraudulent inducement, and unfair competition. The complaint provides evidence that the December 23, 2009 agreement that Proview Taiwan entered into was fraudulently induced by the concealment and suppression of material facts by Apple's agents, and that, as a result, the 2009 agreement is void. Once the agreement is voided for fraud, the iPad trademarks in the European Union, South Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam will revert back to Proview Taiwan.

As the U.S. complaint alleges, Apple was pressed for time as it sought to acquire the IPAD trademarks, in advance of a January 27, 2010 announcement to launch the Apple iPad. In addition, Apple was predisposed to use deception to obtain the trademarks from Proview Taiwan because it knew from prior dealings with Proview Taiwan that Proview Taiwan opposed Apple's use of similar trademarks. To further this deception, Apple used an intermediary, Farncombe International and its Managing Director, Graham Robinson, to create an elaborate but false pretext for the purchase of Proview's IPAD trademarks. Apple created a special purpose company named IP Application Development Limited ("IPAD Ltd."), then concealed the fact that this company was acting as an agent of Apple. Graham Robinson further concealed Apple's involvement by adopting a false alias, Jonathan Hargreaves, which he used when negotiating with Proview.

Shortly before the launch of Apple's tablet device, Robinson, working on behalf of Apple, blatantly misled Proview regarding IPAD Ltd.'s business and IPAD Ltd.'s intended use of the trademark. When Robinson was asked why IPAD Ltd. wanted the IPAD trademark, he replied that it was because IPAD "is an abbreviation for the company name IP Application Development Limited."

The amended complaint reveals that Robinson evaded direct questions from Proview as to the nature of his business by stating that "[IPAD Ltd.] is a newly formed company, and I'm sure you can understand that we are not ready to publicize what the company's business is, since we have not yet made any public announcements". As I said in my last message, I can assure you that the company will not compete with Proview." As Proview Taiwan now knows, these statements by Apple's agent were patently false.

"While some technology companies create special purpose vehicles in order to obtain trademarks, in this case the sole function of Apple's special purpose vehicle was intentional misrepresentation, and an effort to fraudulently induce Proview Taiwan into a sale of the IPAD trademarks," said Cal Kenney, Spokesman of Proview Taiwan.

"Proview Taiwan had concerns about the purchaser's intentions, and was very diligent in trying to understand the facts surrounding its interest in Proview Taiwan's IPAD trademarks. But even careful diligence is ineffective when the counterparty is engaging in intentional fraud," said Cal Kenney.

The relief Proview Taiwan seeks from Apple includes compensatory damages and disgorgement of Apple's profits from the unfair competition, as well as an injunction to stop Apple's continued use of the fraudulently-obtained trademarks.

"Apple obtained the iPad trademark by defrauding Proview Taiwan through tactics that involved explicit misrepresentations, and the use of foreign entities specifically created to perpetrate the fraud," said Cal Kenney. "By filing the complaint in the California Superior Court, Proview Taiwan seeks the truth about who at Apple orchestrated the fraud, and the specifics of how it was implemented. Proview Taiwan believes that when the truth is exposed, the full weight of Apple's fraudulent and nefarious behavior will be revealed and the appropriate remedies will be obtained."
Add your own comment

21 Comments on Proview Taiwan Charges Apple with Fraud and Unfair Competition

#1
Moose
Couldn't happen to a more deserving company, how does it feel now Apple when other people claim you are using things they own?
Posted on Reply
#2
rob49152
I am a fence sitter with apple. I do like and use apple products everyday, but as a company they are without a doubt one of the scummiest I've ever read about. I have no doubts that everything proview says is correct.

The irony is apples 'Image is everything' concept when their own image is that of a turd in lawyers clothing.
Posted on Reply
#3
enaher
That's just to show how out of control the patent system is, greed gonna be the end of us, funny how all this chaos always benefits the chinese, every greedy corportaion bends themselves to to the chinese to get a piece of the pie and at some point it gonna bite their asses.
Posted on Reply
#4
Depth
If I understand this correctly.... Apple formed a bloody company called IPAD ltd. with the express purpose of dominating the market with trademarks and thus lawsuits, and then lied about it? And now Proview Taiwan is bringing it out in the open.

Where can I buy Proview Taiwan stuff? I want Proview Taiwan stuff.


Unless... Proview Taiwan is secretly owned by Apple and it's some kind of extremely clever propaganda

We're all going to die
Posted on Reply
#5
n-ster
Yea a company called IPAD to buy the Ipad name on behalf of Apple is not just questionable, it's obvious that they are guilty
Posted on Reply
#6
[H]@RD5TUFF
Hope they take apple for a ton of money.
Posted on Reply
#7
the54thvoid
by: n-ster
Yea a company called IPAD to buy the Ipad name on behalf of Apple is not just questionable, it's obvious that they are guilty
Not forgetting that the Apple agent used an alias to do the business. This is top notch stuff.

I also have nothing against the products as they are genuinely decent gadgets. It is their self given image of the worlds greatest tech innovator and pompous self importance that does my box in.
Posted on Reply
#8
Kantastic
Older articles on this topic made Proview out to be some bitter little kid that gave away a pack of candy with a prize in it, and then wanted takebacks. I'm getting the bigger picture here and it seems Apple is... well.. a shitty company. Go figure, I had no clue.
Posted on Reply
#9
Static~Charge
I can see the fraud and deception charges, but unfair competition? Proview had nothing that could compete with Apple's iPad. The Proview iPAD looks more like an old iMac (the kind with a built-in CRT).
Posted on Reply
#10
trickson
OH, I have such a headache
Now that Jobs is gone they are going after them? What was wrong with going after them when he was alive?
Posted on Reply
#11
digibucc
that wasn't the time they felt ready? i don't know if i'd bring jobs death into it at all. i don't think the decision to go to court had anything to do with that.
Posted on Reply
#12
semantics
who cares it's a name, just because you see apple wants the name vs "generic company" you want more money to buy that name for trademark? That seems silly to me that so much value is given to just a name and nothing about the product itself. Apple is a scummy company but sitting on trademarks from failed products is pretty shitty too. Although at least they made something called "I-PAD"; not just got the name like ppl who sit on domain names and do nothing with it.
Posted on Reply
#13
trickson
OH, I have such a headache
Every time I hear I-Pad I think of some chick on the rag! LOL.
Posted on Reply
#14
n-ster
by: semantics
who cares it's a name, just because you see apple wants the name vs "generic company" you want more money to buy that name for trademark? That seems silly to me that so much value is given to just a name and nothing about the product itself. Apple is a scummy company but sitting on trademarks from failed products is pretty shitty too. Although at least they made something called "I-PAD"; not just got the name like ppl who sit on domain names and do nothing with it.
The product they made was in the same field for one.

Second, it's like saying business that are charged more for internet then residential is nonesense. Or India has cheaper prices for everything, USA should have the same prices. No, India's average income is not the same at all then the USA's

Third, Supply and demand. They had something Apple really wanted, but for them it was pretty much useless. They see this company that will definitively not compete with them called IPAD asking for the name, they tell themselves ahh wth, why not give it to them and get a bit of money WE ARE GONNA GO BANKRUPT SOON IF THIS CONTINUES NEED EVERY DOLLAR WE CAN GET... Not only is that ipad an electronic like their IPAD, but the name was misused completely, IPAD ltd. lied about their actual use and demand for it, therefore IMO, not only should ProView keep the money from what they got for the IPAD name, they should retain possession of the name and if Apple wants it, they better do it correctly
Posted on Reply
#15
laszlo
now apple has a i-shit in court
Posted on Reply
#16
micropage7
Apple with Fraud and Unfair Competition
i guess most people would say yes when they asked about this
Posted on Reply
#17
DannibusX
This is a legitimate complaint.

If Apple, Inc. actually formed another company to purchase the iPad name at a much lower rate than they otherwise could, it's straight up fraud and Proview deserves compensation. It sounds pretty elaborate and I can't wait to see what happens at trial.
Posted on Reply
#18
Shoggoth
the full weight of Apple's fraudulent and nefarious behavior
This line is the best; it really captures the essence of Apple.
Posted on Reply
#19
Ahhzz
Eh, as much as I'm not really an Apple fan... at all... more like, don't like to use the products, will never own an iphone if I can help it, etc.... I think that Proview is just being a little bitch that they could have gotten more money if they had known it was Apple. Not that they think they're DUE more money... Kinda like "Yeah, I'll sell this car to Poor Cousin Joe for $200..oh Wait, it's for Rich Uncle Bob?? Oh HELLS no!! That man has the cash!!! Gimme $5000!!!!"
Posted on Reply
#20
n-ster
So Congo people should be paying UK prices for everything? That wouldn't be fair, but why would UK people paying Congo prices be any fairer?

Also not Proview is in financial trouble, they needed ever penny they could get when they sold that, it was a desperation sell. So say you sold gold at 100$/oz to a local jeweler to promote the economy (and get money ASAP), plus the jeweler makes jewelry, while you make gold teeth. But low and behold, the jeweler actually was secretly owned by a dentistry company that makes vampire gold teeth. Sure it doesn't directly compete with you but its still similar AND you just sold gold worth 2000$/oz at 100$...

idk my analogies suck and I really need to sleep, but understand that this isn't Proview being greedy
Posted on Reply
#21
Moose
by: n-ster
but understand that this isn't Proview being greedy
Well it is a bit just nobody cares lol
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment