Apple’s legal team had to appear in court last night to defend its right to use the iPad name in China. Apple is in a legal battle with bankrupt company Proview who claims that Apple has no right to the iPad trademark in China. Apple is claiming that they bought the rights of the iPad from Proview back in 2009 and that the rights 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.
Both cases were presented at the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court. It was reported that the two parties met for about four hours. The session ended without any rulings or indications as to how the case might be resolved. At first glance you would think that Proview claims are outrageous (which they probably are) but they have already been able to successfully block sales from several smaller Chinese cities and have even managed to get authorities to seize iPads from the shelves of retailers.
Either way Proview will continue to try to stop the sale of iPads and Apple will continue to defend it’ right to the trademark. But you can bet Apple wants to settle this case quickly because China is one of the fastest growing markets in the world and preventing the sale of the iPad would put a major dent in Cupertino’s pocket.