ProView Is Suing Apple Over The Rights To An iMac Clone

Patent trolls – mere shells of companies that go after potential infringements in order to rack up some hefty legal fees and maybe a settlement or two – don’t have an institutional memory. Take the great iPad in China debacle. What you see above is ProView’s “iPad.” The eagle-eyed among you will note that it bears more than a passing resemblance to the old iMac, circa 1998.

The device, according to the ProView literature, is a development that “constructs on the dream of technology founded human spirit.” This device appeared a few years after the original iMac.

ProView is attempting to extort up to $2 billion out of Apple on this claim even after Apple settled with the company in 2010 for about $50,000 per country in order to secure the iPad trademark. It is impossible to understand how ProView could be so wildly ham-handed in regards to all of this but presumably the statute of limitations is up on their original look and feel infringement and so the dead husk of ProView can keep pounding at Apple’s doors with little success.

MIC Gadget did a little digging and found that ProView is currently owned by a number of banks in China and owes over a billion dollars in liabilities and overdue loans.

All of the Proview International assets, including the trademark ‘IPAD’, have been seized as mortgage to eight banks — Bank of China, Minsheng Bank, China Development Bank, Guangdong Development Bank, Bank of Communications, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Huaxia Bank and Shenzhen Ping An Bank. On November 1 2011, the eight creditor banks of Proview convened a meeting to discuss the negotiation with Apple on the trademark dispute. Since Proview’s assets have been frozen by the banks, the eight banks become the beneficiaries of the iPad trademark.