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More Chinese shopkeepers hide their iPad stock

Fondleslabs tucked away ahead of trademark appeal outcome

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More shops in China have been told to pull iPads from their shelves in the wake of the ruling that the fondleslab infringes on a trademark owned by Proview International Holding.

Retailers in Shanghai, Xuzhou and Qingdao have all been ordered by the authorities to pull Apple's tablets off their shelves, Reuters reported.

Shops in Beijing have already withdrawn their iPads from sale after a court ruled that Proview owned the trademark to the name "IPAD".

Although Chinese media reports suggest that government officials are enforcing the rulings, the Qingdao commerce department told Reuters it hadn't ordered any ban on iPad sales.

"Whether the retailers decide to stop sales or not is up to them. The government is not involved," a spokesman said.

Apple immediately launched an appeal against the IPAD trademark ruling so it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for shops to be dumping their iPad stock completely until that makes its way through the courts.

Monitor biz Proview, which wants damages from Apple over the trademark, has already admitted that China's customs officials told the firm it would be difficult to get an import and export ban on iPads in the country because of their popularity and the sheer number of them on the market.

For its part, Apple has said that it bought the trademark from Proview a number of years ago.

"We bought Proview's worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honour their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter," the company said. "Our case is still pending in mainland China." ®

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