Apple threatens to sue as Chinese firm wins iPad case

More legal drama as Proview wins court ruling and shows off original 'iPAD'

LAST UPDATED AT 14:07 ON Mon 20 Feb 2012

THE LONG-RUNNING legal battle between Apple and Chinese company Proview over the iPad name could be about to escalate after Proview claimed it had won a ruling in a Chinese court that would ban sales of iPads - and Apple threatened to sue.

The Washington Post reported that a lawyer for Proview had claimed victory in a court case over the iPad name in Guangdong province. The paper reported: "In its battle with Apple, Proview is utilising lawsuits in several places and also requesting commercial authorities in 40 cities to block iPad sales."
 
Chinese media have reported that iPads have been withdrawn from sale in several cities. Proview hopes to outlaw the sale of Apple iPads in China and prevent them from being brought in and out of the country. That would hurt Apple worldwide because it manufactures the devices in China.
 
Apple insists that it owns the iPad trademark in China after buying it from Proview. It is set to appeal against the latest ruling, while another case is due to be heard in Shanghai on Wednesday.
 
The Cupertino tech giant has now threatened to sue Proview. According to PC World: "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'."
 
Meanwhile Proview has backed up its claim on the name by calling a press conference to show off its own version of the iPad (called an iPAD), which is a computer it manufactured between 1998 and 2009. Proview claims it produced between 10,000 and 20,000 machines.
 
Ironically, says tech website The Register, the original iPAD is a computer that looks almost identical to Apple's iMac, which was launched in 1998.
 
Proview has since run into financial difficulties and is now said to be seeking "new opportunities".

"One of those opportunities, it appears, is to make a few yuan off Apple by forcing a settlement over the iPad trademark," notes The Register. · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.