Chinese Court Tells Distributors to Stop Selling iPads; Apple Threatens to Sue Proview For Defamation

The “iPad” trademark saga in China between Apple and Proview continues.

Associated Press reports that the Intermediate People’s Court in Huizhou has ruled in favor of Proview Technology and has ordered local distributors to stop selling iPads.

Associated Press reports:

Apple’s dispute over the iPad trademark deepened Monday after the Chinese company that claims ownership of the name said it won a court ruling against sales of the popular tablet computer in China.

Xie Xianghui, a lawyer for Shenzhen Proview Technology, said the Intermediate People’s Court in Huizhou, a city in southern China’s Guangdong province, had ruled on Friday that distributors should stop selling iPads in China.

Apple has already appealed in the High Court against the court ruling favoring Proview. 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.

PC World is also reporting that Apple has sent a letter threatening to sue Proview for defamation in the trademark dispute. PC World reports:

On Monday, Apple sent a letter to Chinese display vendor Proview, demanding its founder Yang Rongshan cease releasing what it said was false information to the media. Apple then warned it would sue for damages caused by “defamatory statements.”

“It is inappropriate to release information contrary to the facts to the media, especially when such disclosures have the effect of wrongfully causing damage to Apple’s reputation,” said the letter, which was provided by a person familiar with the matter. 

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”. The company no longer sells these computers and has filed for bankruptcy.

As mentioned earlier, Apple insists that they own the “iPad” trademark as they had bought European rights to the “iPad” trademark from Proview’s parent company for $55,000, which also included China. A court in Hong Kong has also ruled in favor of Apple before and stated that Proview and its subsidiaries had conspired against Apple to get more money out of them.

Unfortunately for Apple, Chinese authorities and courts have favored Proview so far.

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