Proview's US$2 billion lawsuit against Apple is in jeopardy following a bankruptcy liquidation application from creditor Fubon Insurance. (File photo/Xinhua)
The court battle between Apple and Proview over the ownership of the "Ipad" trademark could be put to a sudden halt, according to a report in the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily.
Proview, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of electronic displays, is currently engaged in a bitter lawsuit with electronics giant Apple over who owns the trademark for the name "Ipad" in China. Financially insolvent Proview is pinning its future on a potential US$2 billion payout from Apple, whose popular tablet computer goes by the same name.
In a surprising turn of events, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily has revealed that Proview creditor Fubon Insurance had applied for Proview to be put into involuntary bankruptcy liquidation proceedings last year. A decision from the court is expected shortly, and if approved, Proview's ongoing lawsuit against Apple will be put to an immediate stop in accordance with Chinese law.
According to a spokesperson from the Shenzhen branch of the Bank of China, a court in the city had ruled that Proview owed Fubon Insurance US$8.68 million as of November 2010. Fubon applied for Proview's remaining assets to be liquidated in June 2011 after the latter failed to comply with the ruling for more than six months. The statutory deadline for a decision on the application has already passed, and Fubon's lawyers on Feb. 20 applied to the court for an expedited ruling.
Proview has indicated in response to the application that it may be able to satisfy outstanding financial obligations in the future, based on the outcome of the Apple trademark suit. Fubon has rejected this argument, saying that Proview cannot use a speculative sum of money as proof of its ability to repay debts.
Legal experts say that while Proview's potential payout from Apple is high, any court decision will likely take time. The quickest solution for creditors is for Proview to reach a settlement with Apple as soon as possible.
At Proview's bankruptcy hearing in December last year, a legal representative confirmed that the company had assets of roughly US$320 million and debts as high as US$2 billion.
Fubon Insurance 富邦產險