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Shanghai court sides with Apple, iPad sales to continue


There is some good news for Apple and the iPad in China. The Shanghai Pudong New Area People's Court ruled in favor of Apple and denied an injunction request from Proview that would have banned sales of the tablet device in the Chinese city. Both the local Xinmin Evening News and Reuters confirmed this decision.

This Shanghai ruling is a win for Apple, but a bigger decision, that could decide the fate of the iPad in China, looms ahead of the Cupertino company. Apple recently lost a case in this battle when the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court sided with Proview and its claim to the iPad trademark. Apple appealed to the Higher People's Court of Guangdong and hearings in this trial will begin on February 29th. If Apple loses this case, it could put ownership of the iPad name into the hands of Proview.

Apple has been fighting with Proview international over the rights to the iPad name in China. Proview owned a trademark for the iPad name and sold it to Apple in 2009 through the UK-based IP Application Development Ltd. Apple bought the rights to the name from Proview's Taiwan subsidiary.

On paper, it appears to be a straightforward deal, but bankruptcy claims and internal company politics complicate the matter. Proview Shenzhen agrees that its Taiwanese subsidiary sold the iPad trademark to Apple, but claims the offshoot didn't have the right to sell the name.

According to a Bloomberg report, Proview founder Rowell Yang also claims the company was in bankruptcy at the time and needed bank approval to sell any assets, including the iPad trademark. The Bank of China is supposedly a Proview creditor and would have been involved indirectly in this sale.

Proview has halted sales of the iPad in a few Chinese cities and is looking to expand this ban to other locations. It also asked China Customs to stop both the export and import of the iPad. If an export ban is upheld, iPad sales globally could come to a screeching halt.

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