Thu, March 01, 2012
Technology > Technology > iPad trademark dispute heats up in China

China's local court hears Apple's appeal over iPad trademark

2012-02-29 15:03:38 GMT2012-02-29 23:03:38(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

A witness for Apple Inc. keeps silent as he walks out of the Higher People's Court of Guangdong, where the iPad trademark infringement dispute between Apple Inc. and Proview (Shenzhen) Company Limited was heard on the morning of February 29, 2012. [CNS Photo/Zong Tao]

Reporters and locals wait outside the Higher People's Court of Guangdong for the judgment on iPad trademark infringement dispute between Apple Inc. and Proview (Shenzhen) Company Limited, February 29, 2012. [CNS Photo/Zong Tao]

GUANGZHOU, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Higher People's Court of south China's Guangdong Province concluded the court hearing of "iPad" trademark case Wednesday afternoon without settlement after about six-hour's fierce defence.

The court will pass judgement on the case another day.

Both sides didn't refuse to reach a compromise while the court asked.

The Higher People's Court of Guangdong Province began to hear Apple's appeal of a ruling against its right to use the "iPad" trademark in China on Wednesday.

The court opened Wednesday morning and debates continued over whether Apple has the right to use the iPad trademark in the Chinese mainland -- a trademark claimed to have been registered by Proview Technology (Shenzhen) prior to the product's launch.

Apple has plunged into several legal battles in China and appealed to the provincial higher court after it lost a case to Proview Shenzhen in December 2011.

Proview Shenzhen and U.S. technology giant Apple have been tangled in a lengthy dispute over the rights to use the iPad trademark in China.

Proview Shenzhen is a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-headquartered Proview International Holdings Limited, which also has a branch in Taipei.

Proview Taipei registered the iPad trademark in a number of countries and regions as early as 2000, with Proview Shenzhen registering the trademark on the Chinese mainland in 2001.

Apple bought the rights to use the trademark from Proview Taipei in February 2010 via IP Application Development Limited (IP), a company based in Britain. However, Proview Shenzhen claims it still reserves the right to use the trademark on the Chinese mainland.

The Pudong New District People's Court in Shanghai ruled against Proview on Feb. 23 in the suit that sought to prevent Apple from selling its popular iPad tablet computer in China.

The court held a hearing after Proview Shenzhen asked the court to immediately ban sales of the iPad. Apple Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., which runs three retail stores in Shanghai, asked the court to reject Proview's request pending a final verdict on the ownership of the trademark in China.

The court said sales of the iPad may continue, as the right to use the trademark is still under dispute.

A court in the city of Huizhou, Guangdong province, ruled in favor of Proview, ordering a local retailer to stop selling iPads in February.

Although a final verdict in the mainland has yet to be delivered, authorities in some Chinese cities have seized iPads after receiving complaints from Proview Shenzhen.

The move has also prompted Apple retailers in many Chinese cities to pull iPads off their shelves themselves.

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