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Proview, Not Apple, Owns iPad Name in China, Court Says

Apple bought the name from the Brits but Proview claims the deal didn’t include China

Apple can't call the iPad the iPad in China.

A trademark infringement suit Apple filed after its application for ownership of two Chinese trademarks - iPad and IPAD - was thrown out of court.

The Chinese trademark office said a local contract manufacturer called Proview Technology that makes flat panel displays and is reportedly close to bankruptcy owns the name and the court agreed.

Proview claims it reserved the rights to the name when a Taiwan subsidiary of Hong Kong parent company Proview International sold the supposedly global trademark to IP Application Development, a British company, in 2006 for roughly $55,000.

Apple bought the name from the Brits but Proview claims the deal didn't include China. It says it's had dibs on the name in China since 2001, 10 years before Apple's iPad appeared, and used it on a failed tablet back then. It's also reportedly registered the name in Europe, Mexico, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

It's going to try to collect $1.5 million from Apple for patent infringement in a separate suit and get the sale of iPads banned in Shenzhen and Huizhou, two cities in southern China, ahead of asking for a nation-wide injunction.

Proview told the Financial Times. "We hope that this decision will make our negotiations with Apple a bit easier."

Apple will presumably appeal the court's decision.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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