Report: Apple Threatens to Sue Amidst iPad Name Battle in China

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A court in Southern China ordered Apple to stop selling the iPad there, but Apple has threatened legal action against Proview for “defamatory comments.”

The controversy surrounding the use of the iPad name in China continued over the weekend, with a court in Southern China ordering Apple to stop selling its popular tablet there. Cupertino is not taking this lying down, however, reportedly threatening its own legal action over “misleading” statements.

According to the Financial Times, the People’s Intermediate Court in Huizhou found that Apple and Chinese electronics store Sundan were infringing on a patent held by Proview Technology by selling the iPad.

At issue is a December ruling in favor of Proview, which secured the rights to the iPad name in China 2001. Although Apple bought the rights to use the iPad name in Taiwan in 2009, Proview still retains the right to the name in mainland China. In the wake of that ruling, there have been reports in recent weeks of iPads being pulled from shelves throughout China.

As a result, Apple wrote to Proview recently accusing the company of making misleading statements to the press that could damage Apple’s reputation, IDG News Service reported.

Apple threatened to sue Proview over those statements. “It is inappropriate to release information contrary to the facts to the media, especially when such disclosures have the effect of wrongfully causing damage to Apple’s reputation,” said the letter, which IDG posted on Scribd.

The iPad controversy comes as Apple is also contending with concerns over working conditions at factories owned by suppliers like Foxconn. To that end, ABC’s Nightline will air a special tomorrow night that goes inside Foxconn’s Chengdu plant, where Apple has instructured a labor group to conduct a thorough audit.

By Chloe Albanesius, PCMag


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