Chinese officials raid retailers, confiscate iPads following trademark ruling against Apple

iPad2 Seized in China

In the latest development surrounding Proview Technology’s trademark infringement case against Apple over the “iPad” name, a Shanghai court has ruled against Apple. Following the decision, The Xinhua District’s Administration for Industry & Commerce began a crack down on the iPad 2 in Taihe Electronics City, a Shijiazhuang-based marketplace for electronics.

After receiving a letter from Proview, senior Shenzhen officials gave the green light for the raid, forcing retailers at the electronics market to hide their stock of iPads at the risk of confiscation. Despite the raid, customers were said to be able to purchase the iPads over-the-counter by directly asking retailers, which were desperate to rid of their stock. Official Apple stores were said to be unaffected by the raids.

“Mr. Zhang, who is in charge of the Apple counter at Taihe Electronics City, told reporters that if anyone wants to buy the iPad 2, he would have to retrieve it from the stockroom. There aren’t any samples of the tablet on the counter because if found by the authorities, the business will be seized,” the Hebei Youth Daily reported. 

Apple iPad 2 confiscated in China

The sting netted 45 of Apple’s second-generation iPads, and the offending stores will be slapped with a fine.

Proview trademark document 2001

According to Beijing-based IP lawyer and law professor, Stan Abrams, the Administration for Industry & Commerce has the authority to, “raid premises, seize documents, equipment, products and counterfeit marks, and it can halt activity and lock down businesses. Once AIC makes a decision about infringement, it can order fines (these go to the government, not the trademark owner), revoke business licenses, and mandate a public apology.”

Proview Technology, the Shenzhen subsidiary of Taiwanese Proview International Holdings, has been mired in debt recently. Shares of its stock were suspended from trading in Hong Kong on August 2, 2010, and the company failed its own attempt to launch a tablet.

After another Shenzen court dismissed an Apple lawsuit laying claim to the iPad name in November, Proview returned fire with its own legal barrage. Proview Technology filed official complaints with 20 Chinese cities to in an effort to halt the sales of iPads throughout China and collect fines from Apple. Independent Apple-sanctioned retailers in Shenzhen, Huizhou, and Shanghai have all been caught in the web of Proview’s lawsuits. On Jan. 5, Apple appealed the decision against it, and is currently pending an outcome. 

While the recent raid has been limited to the city of Shijiazhuang, Apple’s retailers throughout other cities are on high alert at the risk of further raids. “You’ll likely see more and more actions across the country,” Xie Xianghui, a lawyer for Proview Technology, informed the LA Times.

Emerging Tech

Death from above? How we’re preparing for a future filled with weaponized drones

Drones are beginning to enable everything from search & rescue, to the delivery of medicines to hard-to-reach places. But they are also being used as cheap, and deadly flying bombs. How can we defend ourselves?
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

These are the best Xbox One games out right now

More than four years into its lifespan, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Apple’s 2020 MacBooks could ditch Intel processors, arrive with ‘ARM Inside’

If you're buying a MacBook in 2020, be on the lookout for a new "ARM Inside" banner. Apple is reportedly working on transitioning away from Intel processors for its MacOS lineup in favor of new custom A-series ARM-based silicon.

The Verizon GizmoWatch puts a quick-communication device on your kid’s wrist

Verizon is taking another shot at building a smartwatch for youngsters. The company announced the Verizon GizmoWatch, which boasts 4G connectivity and helps parents keep track of their children.

Google Maps brings its real-time journey-tracking feature to iPhone

It's been available on Android for a while now, and now Google Maps has brought its real-time journey-tracking feature to iOS. It lets you choose who to share a journey with, and tracking ends automatically when you arrive.

Apple sends out invites for October hardware event, new iPad Pro expected

The new iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and Apple Watch aren't the last devices we'll see from Apple in 2018. There are plenty of rumors about a new iPad coming this year too, and it may share some design similarities with the new phones.

A strap for everyone: The best Apple Watch bands you can buy right now

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far and there's something for everyone.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.

Which new iPhone is the best? iPhone XS vs. iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XR

Apple has three new iPhone models to choose from this year, making the choice a little harder than usual. What's the difference between the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR, and which is best?

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from XS on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.

Apple’s latest feature ensures MacOS apps are safer than ever

MacOS is mythically known for being more immune to viruses than Windows, but that doesn't mean there isn't room to make it safer. Apple is using an app notarization feature to protect users from downloading malicious apps.

Camera shootout! Testing the latest Pixel, iPhone, and Galaxy Note in real life

Which takes the best photos, the Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XS Max, Galaxy Note 9, or Pixel 2 XL? We put the cameras on all these top-notch phones through their paces to see which performs best in the real world, from low light to portrait mode…