February 21, 2012- Apple ran into another problem with its trademark for its iPad in China. A lawyer for Proview Technology, a Shenzhen-based company, said a court in China ruled that all retailers must halt sales of iPads. The company’s lawyer said that Intermediate People’s Court in Huizhou, a city in the south of China, made the ruling last Friday. On Monday, Apple representatives in China and the U.S. were not available for comment.
Insiders believe the ruling will not have a far-reaching effect even though it was reported in state media throughout China. Proview in its continual battle with tech giant Apple is filing lawsuits in a number of locations and has asked commercial authorities to block the sale of iPads in 40 other cities.
Proview and Apple are locked in a bitter dispute over who owns the trademark rights to the iPad name in the country. Apple says it purchased the rights to the iPad name and has previously paid Proview for the right to use the name.
However, Proview says it has not given Apple the licensing rights to the iPad name. It says Proview Electronics, its subsidiary, sold the naming rights for the iPad to Apple back in 2006 in a global trademark agreement that does not include China. The deal in 2006 was reportedly worth just $54,000.
Proview has said it will file other lawsuits that will seek up to $2 billion for trademark infringement. Apple, on the other hand, is threatening to sue the company for defamation