Proview International, the owner of the ‘iPad’ trademark in China, has asked the Chinese government to block import and export of Apple iPads from China. The move comes after Proview filed a complaint against Cupertino-based Apple, which resulted in 45 iPads being seized on Monday by Chinese officials.
Roger Xie, a lawyer representing Proview, said:
“We are applying to customs to stop any trademark- infringing products from imports to China and also for exports. Apple wants to postpone and continue infringement of the iPad in China.”
Apple claims that it purchased the iPad name from Proview for ten countries, including China. In response to Xie’s statement, Apple’s spokeswoman in Beijing, Carolyn Wu, said:
“Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China,” said Carolyn Wu, Apple’s Beijing-based spokeswoman. “Our case is still pending in mainland China.”
Apple’s iPad is manufactured by Foxconn in Brazil and China, and if Proview are successful, the potential ramifications of such an export blockade could be huge for Apple. Whilst the blockade may not completely halt global iPad sales, it would definitely hurt the availability of the tablet device and could affect Apple’s profits, however vast they are.