Chinese firm takes Apple iPad legal battle to Silicon Valley

24 Feb 2012

Apple iPad 2

In the latest twist to the Apple iPad legal saga in China with the Shenzhen-based computer firm Proview Technology, the company is now suing Apple in California for what it is terming “unfair business and fraud”.

Just yesterday, Proview suffered a setback when a court in Shanghai rejected its request to get a preliminary injunction against the sale of the iPad in China. The Shanghai court said it has postponed hearings awaiting the results of a separate case in the Guangdong provincial high court.

Apple and Proview have been engaged in a legal battle over which company owns the iPad trademark in mainland China since 2009. In China, the iPad is manufactured by Foxconn Technology Group.

As for the California lawsuit, Proview Technology’s chief executive Yang Rongshan said the company filed the lawsuit on 17 February in Santa Clara County in California.

Today Rongshan told AFP that the lawsuit in California “accuses Apple of unfair business and fraud”.

He also inferred that the Chinese company would be pursuing a different strategy in the US than in China.

A report in The Wall Street Journal today said the suit accused the company Apple of “fraud and/or malice” in using an innocuously-named subsidiary to buy the iPad trademark from Proview in December of 2009.

Apple claims that Proview Technology sold the trademark rights to the name in 2009, but the Chinese display firm said Apple only bought it from a Taiwanese subsidiary, which never had permission to sell it, and that it doesn’t cover mainland China.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic