Sunday, December 11, 2011

Apple Just Keeps Getting It Wrong

Don't misunderstand, I think Apple is a great company and they sure do know how to innovate when it comes to personal gadgets. But they really need some improvement in the due diligence area. We've sued Apple a couple of times before because someone dropped the ball when they made a couple of television ads and didn't check to make sure they had the right to use some copyrighted works in those ads. Apple is a litigious company, so they blamed someone else and then fought the case on ridiculous grounds rather than just owning up to their mistake. Apple gets strong indemnification agreements whenever they make a television ad, so I don't think they really care how much it costs to defend the case. They just hate to admit they did anything wrong.
Now it's happened again. Apple began anonymously buying the rights to the "IPAD" trademark around the world. They did this in about 2006, just before releasing the iPad. Apple thought they got the rights in every country, but they missed one. They didn't buy the one that was registered in China way back in 2000 to a Taiwanese company. Oops. Now, Apple is suing the company that owned the mark 5 years before Apple even got interested. Why? Because Apple says it had a contract with the parent company to buy that mark too. Apparently they didn't do their due diligence again. Someone over at Apple missed the fact that the company they bought the IPAD trademark from in China didn't actually own it. Oops. Apple goofed. So in typical fashion for huge multi-national corporations drunk on their own money, they sued the company who owns it to try and get it. How medieval. Apple wants something, so they just go take it. Or at least they try. Sounds like the Chinese courts are less smitten with Apple than the general U.S. population. Ownership of the IPAD mark in China is still squarely in the hands of Proview, and they are not about to give it up. After mentioning that they have been having some financial problems, Proview has suggested that they might still be willing to part with the mark. But now that they know Apple wants it, the question is: "How much?"