Apple in Legal Battle Over iPad Name in China

    Apple in Legal Battle Over iPad Name in China
    Photo: AP
    A lawyer for Proview Technology, Ma Dongxiao, talks to reporters speaks outside a courthouse in Shanghai after a legal hearing in February about the iPad trademark.

    This is the VOA Special English ECONOMICS REPORT.

    Industry experts expect the technology company Apple to release a new iPad on March seventh. Apple sold over fifteen million iPads in the final three months of last year alone. Now the popular computer tablet is in its third generation.

    But as Apple prepares to launch a new iPad, it faces legal cases in China over rights to the name of the device.

    On Wednesday, a court in Guangdong province heard a case brought by the Chinese company Proview Technology. Proview is based in Shenzhen in China’s south, and belongs to Proview International Holdings Ltd. The company says it holds the legal rights to the iPad name in China. Apple says it bought the iPad trademark in China and nine other countries from a business owned by Proview in two thousand nine.

    A lawyer for Proview, Xie Xianghui, said Wednesday that he believes Apple has not provided new evidence for the case in Guangdong. Apple is appealing a decision by a lower court. The court ruled that the company does not own the iPad name.

    Another lawyer for Proview, Xiao Caiyuan, said the legal issue over the trademark is clear. He said his company is fighting Apple over the idea of ownership. He also said Proview would settle with Apple for the right amount of money.

    Proview says it holds the trademark for the name of a device called an Internet Personal Access Device, or IPAD. The device looks like a desktop computer. Proview says it sold about twenty thousand of them over about ten years. It says it received the trademark or legal rights to the name in two thousand one.

    Proview Electronics Co
    An advertisement for Proview’s "IPAD" shows that it looks like Apple’s iMac.

    Proview is in financial trouble. It has reported losses since two thousand eight and cut thousands of workers. Apple’s legal team says that Proview is nearing financial failure. They say it has no product, no buyers or suppliers.

    Apple argues a ruling against it would harm the interests of buyers in China. Apple’s holds seventy-six percent of the tablet computer market in the country with its iPad.

    A final decision by the high court in Guangdong is expected to take weeks.

    Still, at least for now, the legal battle has not hurt Apple’s stock price. The technology company has the most valuable publicly traded stock in the world, with a total value of about five hundred billion dollars.

    And that’s the VOA Special English Economics Report. To read and hear more economics news for people learning English, go to voaspecialenglish. And follow us on Facebook, YouTube and iTunes. I’m June Simms.


    Mil Arcega contributed to this report.