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China Confiscates iPads Over Trademark Argument

Filed by KOSU News in Business.
February 13, 2012

Chinese authorities are pulling iPads from store shelves after a Chinese company complained that it owns the name “iPad.” According to The Wall Street Journal, the action comes after Proview (Shenzhen), a Chinese affiliate of Hong Kong manufacturer Proview International Holdings Ltd., filed for an injunction against Apple.

The Journal adds that Proview (Shenzhen) registered the name “iPad” in 2001. The paper adds:

“It’s not clear whether the Shijiazhuang case heralds a wider crackdown on iPads in China, where Apple devices generate enough demand to spark the occasional violence in front of the Californian company’s official retail stores. Proview has registered a complaint against Apple with the Beijing branch of the AIC, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency, though so far the Beijing AIC appears not to have taken action.

“In any case, the revelation that authorities in Shijiazhuang had begun confiscating iPads did not appear go over well with Apple fans on popular Twitter-like microblogging site Sina Weibo, where the news was greeted with more than a few animated thumbs-down icons.”

Mashable reports that Proview and Apple had actually come to agreement in 2010. Apple bought rights from Proview, “but rights have not extended to China.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that Proview has been taking action on a city-by-city basis.

“You’ll likely see more and more actions across the country,” Xie Xianghui, a lawyer for Proview Technology, told the Times. “Apple did not follow Chinese law, so we’re confident the authorities will side with us.”

Reuters reports that aside from filing for injunctions, Proview is also seeking $1.5 billion in compensation from Apple, because it says it has infringed on its copyright. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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