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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Apple moves to defend rights on iconic iPad

By Wang Xin (China Daily)

14:50, February 22, 2012

Apple claims it paid for the rights to the iPad name several years ago, but Proview Technology contends the deal was not valid on the Chinese mainland. (Photo / China Daily)

Appeals Shenzhen ruling favoring insolvent Proview

The latest round in the legal wrangle over rights to the iPad name in China is scheduled for Feb 29 in Guangdong provincial high court as Apple Inc appeals a lower court ruling that favored cash-strapped Proview Technology.

In December, a Shenzhen court ruled that LED maker Preview Technology, also based in Shenzhen, has a valid trademark on the iconic iPad name in China.

In its first public comment on the dispute, Apple released a brief statement on Feb 16, claiming it paid for the rights long ago.

"We bought Proview's worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago," the statement said. "Proview refuses to honor the agreement and a Hong Kong judge has sided with Apple in this matter."

The rare announcement reflects the growing pressure on Apple from recent investigations by local administrations, industry watchers said.

Hong Kong Judge Hon Poon issued an injunction in July preventing Proview from transferring or selling the iPad trademark, noting Proview and its CEO Yang Rongshan "have refused to take any steps to ensure compliance so the China trademarks are properly assigned or transferred (to Apple)", according to tech news portal All Things D.

The Hong Kong court has yet to fully hear the case, said Ma Dongxiao, an attorney for Proview.

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