China official: Proview owns iPad trademark

Official from national copyright agency states government regards company as rightful owner of iPad trademark, report says, following a day after Proview announces out-of-court settlement being arranged.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

Apple may risk losing the right to use iPad trademark in China, as a Chinese court seeks to mediate a settlement between the technology giant and local company Proview Technology challenging the use of the iPad name.

According to the Associated Press (AP) on Tuesday, Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of the National Copyright Administration, told reporters in Beijing that the Chinese government regarded Shenzhen-based Proview Technology as the rightful owner of the trademark of Apple's tablets.

"The dispute between Apple and Shenzhen Proview concerning the iPad trademark is going through the judicial process," Yan reportedly said in a news conference carried on the Internet, but added that according to the Chinese government's law, Proview is "still the lawful representative and user of the trademark".

His comments comes a day after Ma Dongxiao, lawyer for Proview Electronics announced that the Guangdong High Court in southern China was seeking to arrange a settlement for the issue, a Monday report by the newswire stated. The court, on Feb. 29, had heard Apple's appeal of a lower court ruling which favored Proview in the trademark dispute and would make a decision in coming weeks. 

"It is likely that we will settle out of court. The Guangdong High Court is helping to arrange it and the court also expects it to do so," Ma said on Monday.

In March, a creditor sought a court decree to force Proview into involuntary bankruptcy, but the company, then said, it was confident that the request would be rejected as compensation from its ongoing Apple iPad trademark case would be enough to pay its debts. The Taiwanese company is suing Apple for alleged fraud and unfair competition and seeking to retain global rights to iPad names.

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