Shanghai:Apple defended its right to use the
iPad trademark in China in a heated court hearing today that
pitted the electronics giant against a struggling company that
denies it sold the mainland China rights to the tablet`s name.
Shenzhen Proview Technology`s lawyer Xie Xianghui argued
that the sale of the iPad trademark to Apple Inc by Proview`s
Taiwan affiliate in 2009 was invalid.
"Apple has no right to sell iPads under that name," Xie
said. Apple countered that Proview violated the sales contract
by failing to transfer the trademark rights in mainland China.
It also contends that the Chinese LCD maker has not marketed
or sold its own "IPAD," or Internet Personal Access Device for
years, thus possibly invalidating its claim to the trademark.
The hearing adjourned after a fractious four-hour session
which saw the judge repeatedly admonishing both sides to
observe proper court protocol as they argued across the
courtroom. No date was announced for a judgement or further
Proview is suing to stop Apple selling the iPad in China
under that name. It has also asked commercial authorities in
many cities to stop sales of the device.
So far, iPads have been pulled from shelves in some
Chinese cities but there has been no sign of action at the
Ma Dongxiao, another Proview lawyer, said after the
hearing that the company plans to file lawsuits against Apple
in more cities.
As evidence in court, Proview presented a flat, thin
computer packed in a cardboard box that it said is its "IPAD."
The company`s lawyers argued the success of the iPad had
prevented Proview`s product from succeeding in China. Apple`s
side noted that the iPad only began selling in 2010, long
after Proview launched its product in 2000.
Apple`s attorneys said that stopping iPad sales in China
would cause the company huge losses. The tablet`s popularity
has benefited China through tax revenues and jobs created in
its manufacturing, they said.