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Apple denied ownership of iPad trademark in China

December 8, 2011 | 11:44 am

Apple iPad, running the TableTop app

Apple has been denied the rights to the trademark for the term "iPad" in China in a legal battle with Hong Kong-based Proview Technology that registered a trademark back in 2000, according to reports.

At the core of the dispute is whether or not a 2006 agreement between Proview's Taiwan-based subsidiary, Proview Electronics, to sell Apple the "global trademark" for the "IPAD" name for £35,000, or about $54,000, applies to China, according to a report from the Financial Times.

Apple says the agreement should include trademark rights in China, and Proview disagrees, Reuters reported.

Proview is arguing that the Chinese trademark owned by its Shenzhen-based company, Proview Technology, is different than the trademark formerly owned by Proview Electronics, the reports said.

Apple has sued Proview Technology for trademark infringement in the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court, the Financial Times said, adding that while the court has rejected Apple's ownership claim, the U.S. tech giant can appeal the decision.

Meanwhile, Proview Technology has sued Apple resellers in China in an attempt to block the sale of Apple's iPad tablets, the reports said. In October, Proview Technology also filed a suit against Apple seeking 10 billion yuan, or about $1.5 billion, from Apple over alleged infringement of its Chinese "iPad" trademark.

But despite the legal back-and-forth, Proview spokesperson Li Su said told the Financial Times that a the company is open to a settlement.

"We hope that this decision will make our negotiations with Apple a bit easier," Su said in the report.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: An Apple iPad 2, running the Tabletop app. Credit: Armand Emamdjomeh/Los Angeles Times

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