iPads removed from shelves after trademark ruling

Updated: 2012-02-13 15:08


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Apple iPads are being removed from a number of retail stores in China following a court's ruling that a local company owns the right to the name, Hebei Youth Daily reports.

iPads removed from shelves after trademark ruling

A woman holds up an iPad with the iTunes U app after a news conference introducing a digital textbook service in New York January 19, 2012.[Photo/Agencies]

The tablets have been confiscated from shelves in many retail shops and electronic stores due to a Chinese company's lawsuit against the Apple Inc over the trademark infringement, in Shijiazhuang city, capital of North China's Hebei province.

Some retailers have removed the iPad tablets to back storerooms, fearing that local Administration of Industry and Commerce will confiscate them.

An inspection squad of the Xinhua District's Administration of Industry and Commerce in Shijiazhuang city, launched a campaign to crack down the sale of the tablets on Feb 9 after receiving Proview Technology (Shenzhen)'s complaint. A total of 45 iPad tablets were confiscated by the authority in the district over two days.

Proview Technology (Shenzhen) claimed in early 2011 that Apple Inc had been infringing on its iPad trademark and launched court proceedings, said Xie Xianghui, a lawyer for Proview Shenzhen.

The company has extended its complaint to the Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce and appealed to three courts in other places: Shenzhen Futian District People's Court, Huizhou Municipal Intermediate People's Court and Shanghai Pudong New Area People's Court.

Proview Taipei registered the iPad trademark in a number of countries and regions as early as 2000, and Proview Shenzhen registered 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, a company registered in Britain. However, Proview Shenzhen claims it still reserves the right to use the trademark on the Chinese mainland. The two sides have been entangled in a legal battle ever since.

The Municipal Intermediate People's Court in Shenzhen rejected a lawsuit by Apple and IP accusing Proview Shenzhen of infringing on the iPad trademark in December 2011.