Apple is allowed to continue iPad sales in Shanghai after a local court sided with them in a trademark dispute with Proview over who owns the “iPad” name.
Sam Oliver, for AppleInsider:
Apple’s victory over Proview, which for years sold a different product with the name “I-PAD,” was confirmed by a source with direct knowledge of the ruling to Reuters on Thursday. The Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court made the decision quickly after a hearing was held on Wednesday.
At that hearing, Apple argued that a ban on iPad sales would be a negative for the nation of China. A lawyer representing Apple said that Proview has no products or customers, while Apple has “huge sales in China,” and therefore prohibiting sales of the iPad would “hurt China’s national interest.”
Proview has claimed that it owns the rights to the iPad name, and seeks to halt the sales of Apple’s tablet in China. Thursday’s ruling is a major setback for Proview, but the company has had some success in having a small number of iPads removed from the shelves in various cities.
Apple bought the rights to the iPad name from a Taiwanese affiliate of Proview, but officials at Proview say that was an unauthorized transaction. They are seeking as much as $2 billion from Apple for the iPad name. Apple claims Proview is simply not honoring the original deal.
Thursday’s ruling is a major win for Apple, as the company has three major retail stores in Shanghai. A loss would have barred sales of the iPad in its Shanghai stores.
Apple still faces challenges from Proview elsewhere, as the company has even requested that the Chinese government block exportation of the iPad. Such an order would effectively bring global sales of the device to a complete halt.