Apple has submitted two iPad design trademark requests in China in an effort to protect its easily recognizable look from knock off and copycat tablet makers. The trademarks could also help Apple avoid legal headaches like it dealt with last year when Proview claimed it hadn’t actually sold the rights to the iPad name, according to Patently Apple.
Apple hopes to trademark the iPad design in China
Assuming Apple is granted the trademark patents, it would have a new tool to use in potential fights against companies it thinks are stealing its designs and riding on the coattails of the iPad’s success.
Apple’s legal fight in China with Proview Technologies centered around whether or not Apple bought the rights to the iPad name. Proview said it never authorized a trademark deal while Apple said it had.
Chinese courts ultimately sided with Proview despite Apple’s evidence that it had, in fact, paid for the iPad name before launching the multimedia tablet. Proview had hoped to score US$1.6 billion, butultimately settled for $60 million.
Proview was facing the prospect of bankruptcy and planned to use the money it won from Apple to stay afloat. In the end, the company didn’t even pay the $2.4 million in fees it owed to its lawfirm for the case.
With two new design trademarks in its pocket, Apple could potentially avoid costly court room battles in China over copycats, and that’s likely exactly what the company is hoping for.