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Apple may face legal battle to protect ‘iPad’ trademark in China

It may sound bizarre but Apple are facing an unusual situation in China, as they try to protect their ‘iPad’ trademark. The Chinese court has rejected Apple’s lawsuits to get control of their trademark.

The Shenzhen Municipal Intermediate People’s Court issued a statement yesterday which said that they rejected Apple’s two trademark lawsuits against Shenzhen based ‘Proview’, a display monitor vendor who are struggling financially. In 2001 Proview registered for the trademarks ‘iPAD’ and ‘IPAD’ in China which it used to launch their own tablet. It wasn’t a success.

A Proview subsidiary in Taiwan have sold the iPad trademark rights to a UK company called ‘IP Applications’. In 2010, the UK company then sold the trademark rights to Apple.

The court have refused the rights to Apple as they have signed a contract for the trademark rights only through a Proview Taiwan subsidiary. Proview’s Shenzhen branch have not been involved in the trademark negotiations and have not transferred the trademark rights to Apple. According to the court, this contract is not legally binding.

Apple are apparently going to appeal the court’s decision however Proview have already taken legal action against Apple, and it will go to trial. Proview are said to be attempting to block Apple selling their iPad in China because of a trademark infringement.

The matter is even more complex for Apple as they are already the hottest selling tablet in China, with a staggering 74 percent of the market already under their control.

Kitguru says: If Apple are forced to stop selling the product they would lose hundreds of millions in revenue from China alone.

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