Apple Losing Ground in Battle to Keep iPads on Chinese Store Shelves

iPad in ChinaFor a few days, it seemed like Apple had the upper hand against Chinese-based Proview Technology in its complaint for trademark rights to the iPad.

Last Thursday, the Wall Street Journal uncovered evidence, which clearly showed that Proview knew about the sale of the iPad name through its parent company Proview Electronics and was a-okay with the deal. Today however, the Huffington Post has reported that Proview Technology is claiming a victory in the Guangdong province.

The claim from Proview’s lawyer, Xie Xianghui, is that the Intermediate People’s Court in Huixhou in Guangdong had ruled on Friday that distributors must stop selling iPads in China.

It appears that Proview’s plan is to chip away at Apple’s defense by filing and winning lawsuits in several, smaller areas in China until it has the support of enough governmental entities to have powerful allies in its case against the iPad maker.

Apple is refusing to back down in this matter. The company has steadfastly stated that it holds the trademark rights to the iPad in China.

“We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 diferent countries several years ago,” said Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu. “Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter.”

Hong Kong courts may have sided with Apple, but because the island was emancipated in 1997, the July ruling does not hold water across Mainland China. Proview Technology has been on a mission to gain sympathy from government officials.

Within the past week, Proview requested authorities in as many as 20 cities to implement a ban on sales of iPads, as well as filed a complaint with the Beijing Administration of Industry and Commerce to allow a fine against retail stores and distributors of iPads in the District.

As Proview Technology continues to make its mark in local Chinese courts, it will be harder for Apple to win the trademark right for good.

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About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik