Following a recent report that Proview was awarded a limited sales ban on the iPad in a lower Chinese court, IDG News (PC World) reports that Apple has now sent a letter to Proview threatening a defamation lawsuit. Apple had previously won a case in Hong Kong over the rights to the iPad trademark, and claims that Proview has issued false public statements on the matter.
On Monday, Apple sent a letter to Chinese display vendor Proview, demanding its founder Yang Rongshan cease releasing what it said was false information to the media. Apple then warned it would sue for damages caused by “defamatory statements.”
“It is inappropriate to release information contrary to the facts to the media, especially when such disclosures have the effect of wrongfully causing damage to Apple’s reputation,” said the letter, which was provided by a person familiar with the matter.
Apple argues that they purchased the worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 2009 for the sum of $55,000 from a subsidiary of Proview, however Proview claims that the subsidiary did not have the right to sell the trademark.
Proview is billions of dollars in debt, making their financial situation extremely desperate. As such, many consider Proview’s legal case against Apple to be nothing more than an attempt to collect a massive payout from the company.
The Hong Kong court that ruled in Apple’s favor states that the various Proview subsidiaries colluded in an effort to extort millions of dollar out of Apple, a figure that has now risen to $1-2 billion as Proview has continued to press its case.