Proview Technology (Shenzhen) has lost its appeal to get sales of the Apple iPad tablets banned in Chinese markets. The Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court dismissed the copyright lawsuit filed by Proview Technology on the grounds that another case on the same issue was still being contested in a higher court. Apple is rightly quite pleased with the ruling as many Apple stores had earlier been forced to stop sales of the popular tablet in a number of cities. The California based company is desperate to overturn the ban which may be costing the company millions of dollars every day in sales since China is one of the world’s largest markets for consumer products.
According to Roger Xie, the lawyer who represents Proview Technology, the company will be submitting an application to the court to review its verdict as they are not satisfied with the court’s decision. The courtroom battle between Proview and Apple has been going for a few years but has come to the fore only recently. Proview had previously collaborated with US based company National Semiconductor in 1999 to develop a desktop system called the “I-PAD” which was supposed to be more user-friendly than other desktops at the time. In 2009, Apple purchased trademark rights for the name ‘iPad’ from Proview that allowed it to use the trademark internationally. However, they might have overlooked some of the finer details in the agreement which is responsible for the current situation.
Proview maintains that it holds the trademark rights for the iPad in China and is demanding compensation from Apple for copyright violation. They have filed lawsuits against Apple in a number of Chinese courts in order to stop the sale of iPad tablets in Chinese retail shops. Apple stands to lose access to a fast growing market worth billions in China if the ban is maintained in the higher court.
Despite a win in this case, Apple is still facing a bigger battle with Proview Technology as a previous court has already ruled in the favor of the Chinese technology firm regarding the trademark rights for iPad, which makes it quite likely that Apple will settle with Proview outside court. Both parties are now eagerly awaiting the Guangdong higher court’s decision to be announced on February 29. According to a lawyer at Guo Ce Law, Ren Wenfeng, Apple’s chances of winning the lawsuit are quite slim.