1A Shanghai court has rejected a request by a Chinese technology firm to
Apple Inc. (AAPL-Q513.04----%) selling its iPad tablet computers in the
city, a source said, part of a wider battle for Apple over the trademark
The Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court ruled in Apple’s favour after
a hearing on Wednesday, the source with direct knowledge of the ruling
confirming a report by the website of local official newspaper Xinmin
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The Chinese company, Proview Technology (Shenzhen), had said the U.S.
giant was infringing on a trademark it owns in China.
China is important to Apple not only as a consumer market, but also
the country is a major production base for the iPad and other Apple
The dispute, which dates back to a disagreement over what was covered in
deal for the transfer of the iPad trademark to Apple in 2009, has seen
seized by authorities in some Chinese cities, and some retailers in some
Chinese cities have stopped selling them under court order.
The victory for Apple follows a string of defeats in other Chinese
and averted what could have been an embarrassing suspension of iPad sales
Apple’s own flagship stores, of which it has three in Shanghai.
However, it was still not clear whether a separate effort by Proview to
compensation in the Shanghai court from Apple for alleged trademark
infringement would be successful.
Apple disputes Proview’s ownership of the trademark, saying it bought the
rights to the name in China from Proview in 2009.
Apple is also appealing a decision from December by a Shenzhen court,
ruled in Proview’s favour. A higher court hearing for the appeal is set
February 29 in China’s southern province of Guangdong.
Following the Shenzhen case, Proview has launched a multipronged approach
get Apple’s iPads off the shelves in the world’s second-biggest economy,
with mixed success.
It has petitioned Chinese customs to stop shipments of the iPad in and
of China, although authorities have indicated such a ban would be
Proview has won cases in some smaller cities, forcing some retailers to
Proview’s parent, Hong Kong-listed Proview International Holdings Ltd.,
the first Taiwanese technology company to list in Hong Kong and by the
of the 1990s numbered itself among the top five computer monitor makers.
In 1999 it partnered with U.S. chip maker National Semiconductor to
the I-PAD, a stripped-down desktop computer whose main selling points
its Internet connectivity and ease of use.
Proview continued to grow, shifting from computer monitors to become the
world’s third-largest OEM manufacturer of flat panel TVs. But by August
2009, when Apple began trademark talks through a proxy, Proview had been
badly hammered by the financial crisis.
Trading of its stock was suspended in Hong Kong in August, 2010, after
creditors in China went to court to recover assets. The company faces
delisting in June if it cannot provide the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with
viable rescue plan.