The recent Chinese court ruling that Proview owns a trademark on the word iPad may prove to be a problem for Apple.
Recently, officials in the Chinese province of Shijiazhuang began seizing iPads at one reseller. Now, these seizures are happening in a second province.
According to the New York Times, the iPad is under temporary impoundment in the city of Xuzhou, located in Jiangsu province. Ma Dongxiao, a lawyer for Proview talked to the New York Times about these seizures and state-owned CCTV confirmed that officials are removing iPads from resellers. Ma also said Proview asked authorities in 20 Chinese cities to investigate whether iPads are still being sold.
Proview is not holding back following this ruling. Besides the seizures, the company is seeking up to 10 billion yuan in monetary damages from Apple and said it would settle this dispute in or outside court if Apple wants to negotiate a deal. It also asked for an injunction that’ll ban the import and export of the iPad into the country.
A report from Reuters suggests that China’s customs authorities won’t grant this request. Chief of Proview Technology Shenzen, Yank Long-san told Reuters, “The customs have told us that it will be difficult to implement a ban because many Chinese consumers love Apple products. The sheer size of the market is very big.” Rather than a nationwide injunction the company is working with local customs officials to enforce city-wide bans.
It’s not likely that Proview will back down easily as the company desperately needs this cash. It was delisted from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2010 and owes money to banks, suppliers and its workers.