Apple goes to court in China to defend its right to the iPad name, prevent a ban on sales

Apple had to attend a court in China last night as it became embroiled in a battle over the rights to the iPad name in China.  Proview, a company which has already filed for bankruptcy claims that Apple does not own the trademark for the iPad in China. Proview has already caused disruption to the sale of the iPad in China and is looking to gain a complete ban.

The case was heard at the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court on Wednesday where both parties were represented. A heated four hour session ended without any rulings or indications as to how the case may be resolved. Proview has already successfully blocked sales of the iPad in several smaller Chinese cities and even managed to get the authorities to seize iPads from the shelves of some retailers. Apple believes that it bought the rights for the iPad name from Proview back in 2009 and this should cover China.

“We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor 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.” But Proview claims that Apple did not obtain all the rights, and contends its Shenzhen subsidiary retains the rights in China.

Proview will continue to do all it can to disrupt the sale of the iPad in China and will again go to authorities in various cities claiming the rights to the name. It looks like another case that is set to rumble on for some time to come but one which Apple will be eager to settle very soon.  China is one of its fastest growing markets and preventing the sale of the iPad could be very costly to Apple.

Source: The New York Times