Chinese company sues Apple over iPad name

Shenzhen Proview Technology, the Chinese company embroiled in a legal battle with Apple over use of the iPad brand name in China, filed suit against Apple in a Shanghai court Wednesday, reports the Associated Press. This lawsuit is just the latest of several in a prolonged legal war over the rights to the iPad name.

In early December 2011, Proview Technology won a trademark battle against Apple in a patent court in Shenzhen, China, which Apple has since appealed. A court in southern China rejected another lawsuit from Proview Technology around the same time. In July 2011, a court in Hong Kong ruled that Proview Technology had acted with the intention of "injuring Apple." Hong Kong has a separate legal system from mainland China.

Proview Technology has requested that commercial authorities block iPad sales in 40 cities. iPads have been pulled from shelves in some Chinese cities as a result of these lawsuits, but the popular tablet computers are still widely available in other areas of China.

This latest lawsuit takes the fight to Shanghai's Pudong district court, which convened a hearing on the issue early Wednesday. Xie Xianghui, a lawyer for Proview, said that an out-of-court settlement is still possible since no final decisions have been made.

Apple claims to have purchased the rights to the iPad name in China in 2009. The sale was made for the equivalent of $55,000 USD through a company set up for purchasing the brand name. Proview, which registered the trademark in China in 2001 for an "Internet Personal Access Device" claims that the sale was not legally binding.

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