Apple threatens to sue Proview for defamation

Apple's lawyers have issued a letter to the chairman of Proview threatening to sue the company over defamation and damages caused by the company's recent actions.

As if this ongoing, escalating legal battle needed any more lawsuits, lawyers from Apple have issued a letter to Rongshang Yang, chairman of Proview Shenzen, threatening legal action over defamation.

The letter, according to the Financial Times, claims that Yang personally knew of an authorised transfer of the 'iPad' trademark. It explains that he had made "false and misleading statements" by claiming that the Shenzen arm of the company was unaware of the sale.

The letter went on to say, "making misinterpretations in the press to inflame the situation is adversely affecting the interests of the parties in seeking any resolution of the matter."

The lawyers have also indicated that they have reserved the rights to take further legal action over damages, caused by defamation or "unlawful actions intended to wrongfully interfere with Apple's business and business relationships."

Although the ongoing legal battle between Proview and Apple has been escalating since it began in 2010, Proview has recently been taking much more aggressive action towards the Cupertino-based technology giant.

Proview won a ruling from the Intermediate People's Court in Huizhou yesterday against Apple and a local electronics retailer, Sundan. The court ruled that Sundan should cease sales of Apple iPad 2 tablets.

The Chinese company has already appealed to local authorities to stop the sale of the tablets in 40 cities, and there have been reports of small numbers of iPad's being seized from shelves.

Apple released a statement last week about their legal dispute with Proview, explaining that: "Proview refuses to honour their agreement with Apple, and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple on this matter."

However, at this point, there are several different legal actions pending from both companies.

The next big hearing on the case will be in Shanghai tomorrow. A local court will be hearing a request for an injunction against iPad sales in Shanghai.

So far, Chinese customs have chosen not to involve themselves in the dispute, despite Proview's request for a potential ban on imports and exports of the tablets. Customs authorities told Proview that such a ban would be extremely difficult to impose because of "the sheer size of the market."

Image source: Hebei Youth Daily/