Feb 23 The Asian firm trying to stop Apple
Inc from using the iPad name has now launched an attack
on the consumer electronics giant's home turf, filing a lawsuit
in California that accuses the iPhone-maker of employing
deception when it bought the "iPad" trademark.
Proview International Holdings Ltd, a major
computer monitor maker that fell on hard times during the
economic crisis, is already suing the U.S. company in multiple
Chinese jurisdictions and requesting that sales of iPads be
suspended across the country.
Last week, it filed a lawsuit in Santa Clara County that
brings their legal dispute to Silicon Valley as well. Proview
accuses Apple of creating a "special purpose" entity - IP
Application Development Ltd, or IPAD - to buy the iPad name from
it, concealing Apple's role in the matter.
In its filing, Proview outlined how lawyers for IPAD
repeatedly said it would not be competing with the Chinese firm,
and refused to say why they needed the trademark.
Those representations were made "with the intent to defraud
and induce the plaintiffs to enter into the agreement," Proview
said in the filing dated Feb. 17, requesting an unspecified
amount of damages.
Apple, which has said Proview is refusing to honor a
years-old agreement, did not respond to requests for comment on
The battle between a little-known Asian company and the
world's most valuable technology corporation dates back to a
disagreement over precisely what was covered in a deal for the
transfer of the iPad trademark to Apple in 2009.
Authorities in several Chinese cities have already seized
iPads, citing the legal dispute.
Proview, which maintains it holds the iPad trademark in
China, has been suing Apple in various jurisdictions in the
country for trademark infringement, while also using the courts
to get retailers in some smaller cities to stop selling the
China is becoming an increasingly pivotal market for Apple,
which sold more than 15 million iPads worldwide in the last
quarter alone and is trying to expand its business in the
world's No. 2 economy to sustain its rip-roaring pace of growth.
The country is also where the majority of its iPhones and
iPads are now assembled, in partnership with Foxconn.
A Shanghai court this week threw out Proview's request to
halt iPad sales in the city, averting an embarrassing suspension
at its own flagship stores. But the outcome of the broader
dispute hinges on a hearing of the higher court in Guangdong,
which earlier ruled in Proview's favor.
The next hearing in that case is set for Feb. 29.