iPad sales halted at Chinese retailer over Proview trademark dispute

iPad sales were halted at electronics retailer Sundan in the Chinese city of Huizhou after a court ordered the vendor to stop selling the Apple device due to an escalating trademark dispute with Proview that threatens to stop Apple from selling the tablet in China.

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iPad sales were halted at electronics retailer Sundan in the Chinese city of Huizhou after a court ordered the vendor to stop selling the Apple device due to an escalating trademark dispute with Proview that threatens to stop Apple from selling the tablet in China.

Proview, a display vendor that has filed for bankruptcy, claims to own the iPad trademark in mainland China and is demanding that Apple stop selling its tablet. Proview's legal action against Sundan is just one of the many lawsuits and complaints the company has filed to get local authorities to take action against iPad sales.

A lawyer for Sundan said this morning that the company is still waiting for a copy of the court verdict, which should arrive within two days. The company is still discussing the matter, and plans to speak with Apple. No decision has been made on whether to halt iPad sales.

Apple could not be immediately reached for comment.

Proview has also filed for a customs ban with Chinese authorities to stop exports and imports of the iPad tablet.

On Friday, Proview representative Li Su said the company would drop all action against Apple if the US tech giant paid $400 million for the trademark.

The Chinese company acquired the iPad trademark in 2001. But Apple claims to have bought it in 2009 through a company it had set up, called IP Application. Proview, however, argues Apple bought the trademark rights from a Proview Taiwan subsidiary, which never had permission to sell the trademark.

Last June, a Hong Kong court ruled in favour of Apple, ordering an injunction to prevent Proview from selling the iPad trademark to another company. But in December, Apple was dealt a legal blow when a court in Shenzhen, China rejected the company's claims to the iPad trademark. Apple is appealing the decision.