As reported yesterday, Apple and Proview had a court hearing today in Shanghai – one of Apple’s biggest markets in China over the iPad trademark dispute.
Reuters reports that the judge did not issue a decision but there was apparently an intense debate by both parties.
Proview lawyers argued, at times emotionally, that an immediate halt of iPad sales be implemented in China’s commercial hub, which is the home to three of the country’s five Apple stores.
Apple defended its right to use the trademark in China and said Proview had no ability to produce or sell its own device under the same name.
“Proview has no product, no markets, no customers and no suppliers. It has nothing,” Hu Jinnan, a partner at Guangdong Shendadi law firm, which is representing Apple in the case, told the court.
“Apple has huge sales in China. Its fans line up to buy Apple products. The ban, if executed, would not only hurt Apple sales but it would also hurt China’s national interest.”
Meanwhile, Roger Xie, a partner at Grandall Legal Group representing Proview claims that both sides are willing to negotiate a settlement.
“Official negotiation hasn’t started yet, and both sides will submit their plans before the talks. A settlement outside the court is quite possible.”
Proview claims that it was the first to use the iPad moniker in China for its computer, which looks similar to the first generation iMac. Proview’s IPAD stood for “Internet Personal Access Device”.
Apple insists that it holds the trademark rights to the “iPad” name in 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,” said Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu.
Apple has also won a court case on the trademark issue against Proview in HongKong. The court ruled that Proview and its subsidiaries had conspired against Apple to get more money out of them.
But courts in the Chinese city of Huizhouand Shijiazhuang have already ruled in favor of Proview. If the Shanghai court also rules in favor of Proview it would be a major blow to Apple’s plans in China as three of Apple’s five retail stores in the country are in Shanghai.