SHANGHAI – Apples dispute over the iPad trademark deepened Monday after the Chinese company that claims ownership of the name said it won a court ruling against sales of the popular tablet computer in China.
Xie Xianghui, a lawyer for Shenzhen Proview Technology, said the Intermediate Peoples Court in Huizhou, a city in southern Chinas Guangdong province, had ruled Friday that distributors should stop selling iPads in China.
The ruling, which was also reported widely in Chinas state media, may not have a far-reaching effect.
In its battle with Apple, Proview is utilizing lawsuits in several places and also requesting commercial authorities in 40 cities to block iPad sales.
Apple Inc. said Monday that its case is pending in mainland China. The company has appealed to Guangdongs High Court against an earlier ruling in Proviews favor.
Apple insists it holds the trademark rights to the iPad in China.
We bought Proviews worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China, and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter, Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu said.
Calls to the court in Huizhou rang unanswered.
A letter to Proviews chairman Rowell Yang from the Beijing office of the law firm King & Wood, which is representing Apple, accused Proview of breaching principles of good faith and fair dealing and of making false and misleading statements.
Proview, a maker of LCD screens that is based in Guangdong, has asked regulators to seize iPads in China in a possible prelude to demanding a payout from Apple.
A Shanghai court is due to hear a similar case Wednesday.
So far, iPads have been pulled from shelves in some Chinese cities, but there has been no sign of action at the national level.