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Apple iPad sales cleared in Shanghai amid trademark dispute

February 23, 2012|By Nathan Olivarez-Giles
  • Chinese customers with iPads last year in an Apple store in Beijing.
Chinese customers with iPads last year in an Apple store in Beijing. (Ng Han Guan / Associated…)

Apple's iPad has been cleared for sale after a Shanghai court turned down a sales injunction request made by Proview Technology as the two companies argue over who owns the rights to the iPad trademarked name.

The dispute between Apple and Proview is one that is playing out in multiple Chinese courts, with some rulings going Apple's way and others being decided in Proview's favor.

The Shanghai decision is the latest in the complicated and messy dispute between the two companies.

On Thursday, the Pudong District People's Court rejected Proview's requested temporary sales ban on the iPad in a written decision, according to a Reuters report. Proview lawyers told Reuters the decision was the wrong one to be made and that an appeal is planned.

Proview and its creditors, which include the Bank of China, China Minsheng Banking and China Merchants Bank, would prefer to settle with Apple out of court rather than continue the dispute in court, according to a reports from Reuters and Bloomberg Businessweek.

At the center of the dispute is the question of who owns the rights to the trademark for the iPad name -- Apple or Shenzhen-based Proview Technology.

Apple has said it purchased the rights to the name from Proview, while Proview has argued it hasn't licensed the iPad naming rights to Apple. Rather, Proview has said its subsidiary, Proview Electronics, sold the iPad naming rights to Apple in a 2006 "global trademark" agreement it says doesn't apply to China. The 2006 deal was worth about $54,000.

Proview has sued Apple in multiple Chinese city courts calling for sales bans on the iPad over the alleged trademark infringement and has also threatened to sue Apple for as much as $2 billion.

Last week, the Intermediate People's Court in the southern Chinese city of Huizhou ruled iPad sales should be halted until the dispute is resolved, and other rulings have resulted in iPads being pulled off of store shelves in northern China as the trademark battle has escalated.

RELATED:

Chinese court calls for halt of iPad sales

Apple denied ownership of iPad trademark in China

China seizes iPads as Apple's trademark fight with Proview escalates

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