New details have emerged on how Apple made its play for control of Proview’s intellectual property 35 days before the release of the iPad.
Philip Elmer-DeWitt has the timeline of events over at CNN:
- Apple hired Graham Robinson of a British intellectual property firm called Farncombe International to be the company’s “secret agent.”
- Robinson established a shell company that existed only on paper and called it IP Application Development Limited (IPAD Ltd.).
- Using “Jonathan Hargreaves” as a fake name, Robinson began negotiations with Proview for its trademark on the word “iPad,” never revealing he was acting on Apple’s behalf.
- He dodged questions — when asked what business he was in, he’d say “I’m sure you can understand that we are not ready to publicize what the company’s business is since we have not yet made any public announcements.”
- He also stated via email that the company would not compete with Proview.
Apple has yet to officially deny any of this and instead issues the same statment over and over:
“We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honour their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter. Our case is still pending in mainland China.”