Apple's iPad 3 could face customs ban in China

Proview, the company claiming the iPad trademark, has asked Chinese customs to ban import and export of the tablet

Apple's much speculated iPad 3 has emerged as the latest target in an ongoing trademark dispute in China, after a little-known Chinese firm said on Wednesday it has filed for a customs ban with local authorities to stop the import and export of the tablet.

Ma Dongxiao, a lawyer for display vendor Proview, said the company has filed the request with the country's custom offices, but declined to offer details. "We feel that Apple is infringing on the iPad trademark," he said, adding that the company's goal was to stop shipments of Apple's next generation iPad.

Both Proview and Apple have been locked in a legal battle to determine which company owns the iPad trademark in mainland China. In December, a Shenzhen court rejected Apple's claims to the trademark, putting the company's iPad at risk of further legal action in the country.

China is not only a major market for Apple, but also home to many of the factories that build the company's products. If a customs ban is allowed, it could stop the import of iPad tablets to the country, but is unlikely to affect exports, said Stan Abrams, an intellectual property lawyer and professor at Beijing's Central University of Finance and Economics.

"Apple can come back and say to the government, 'We have the right to make stuff here,'" he said, noting that Apple owns the iPad trademark in other countries.

More than 30 commercial regulatory offices in China are investigating Apple's sales of the iPad following complaints made from Proview, according to the company's lawyer. One of those offices, located in the Chinese city of Xuzhou, confirmed on Wednesday an investigation was taking place, but declined further comment. Another Chinese city, Shijiazhuang, has reportedly seized iPad tablets from merchants.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company has appealed the December court ruling. Apple claims the company bought the iPad trademark from Proview's subsidiary in Taiwan.

Although its still unclear how authorities will proceed, Abrams said Proview is pressuring Apple to settle and buy the iPad trademark. But Proview, which has filed for bankruptcy, could be asking for a sum Apple believes is too high and unwilling to pay.

"If there isn't a (settlement), this could be a big problem for Apple," he said. "They could have damages to pay for past iPad sales and even future sales. That's a big headache. Proview has all these cases they have filed all over the country."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?