Chinese tech firm seeks ban on iPad exports
Company is claiming that it still owns the trademarked iPad name
Chinese tech firm Proview Technology (Shenzhen) says that it still owns the iPad trademark and is seeking to ban exports of the device from China, according to Reuters.
The company has asked Chinese customs to halt all shipments of Apple's iPads in and out of China, but has not received a reply, lawyer Xie Xianghui told Asian Legal Business, a Thomson Reuters publication.
According to Apple, it bought Proview's global rights to the trademark in 10 different countries several years ago, including rights to the iPad name from a Taiwan subsidiary. However, Proview claims the sale did not cover the trademark's use in China.
"Proview refuses to honour their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter," an Apple spokeswoman told Reuters.
Apple's fight with Proview Technology (Shenzhen) over the iPad name is just the latest headache for the company and highlights the legal challenges facing foreign multinationals operating in China.
China is a huge technology consumer market and a major production base for Apple's products including the iPad, iPhone and iPod media player.
Proview's legal claims come a day after media reports stated that authorities in some Chinese cities had ordered retailers to stop selling Apple's iPad due to the dispute.
It has asked authorities in about 20 cities, including Shijiazhuang near Beijing, to stop the sales.
Proview has filed lawsuits against Apple in Shanghai and Shenzhen, and retailers selling iPads in Futian and Huizhou.
Apple's options are limited to either settling with Proview Technology (Shenzhen), appealing to a higher court, or facing enforcement actions in China, legal experts told Reuters.
Chinese media have reported that Proview was seeking up to $1.57 billion in compensation from Apple for trademark infringement.