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Proview wins new Chinese IPAD ruling as Apple threatens to sue

Tech titan wants monitor minnow to zip it

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Apple’s ongoing tussle with failed monitor biz Proview took another turn this week when another Chinese court declared that shops in the country should stop selling iPads.

An Associated Press report quoted Proview lawyer Xie Xianghui as saying that the Intermediate People's Court in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, had ruled in the firm’s favour - although it added that the dilapidated electronics firm is seeking similar injunctions in 40 Chinese cities and so the decision may have a limited scope.

Apple is still waiting to hear the outcome of a High Court appeal against a ruling in December which found that Proview owned the IPAD trademark in China.

Since then it has emerged that the company, which seems to be split between Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Taiwan-based entities, could be merely exploiting the situation for financial gain to the tune of $2bn – quelle surprise.

Now that the wheels have fallen off the biz, Proview is set to be delisted from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in the next few months - and pictures purportedly taken of its Shenzhen factory show a derelict and shabby building.

A Hong Kong court ruling in Apple’s favour was also unearthed from 2010, in which the judge expressed serious misgivings about Proview’s business dealings.

The firm has always claimed that because Apple only bought the iPad trademark from its Taiwanese entity, and not the Shenzhen company, the fruity tech titan did not have the rights to the name in China. However, Judge Poon said that the companies, all under the control of CEO Yang Rongshan, failed to properly assign the trademarks and instead sought to “exploit the situation as a business opportunity”.

Apple has also apparently sent a letter to Rongshan threatening to sue for defamation if he continues to make false statements about the shiny toy maker, according to All Things Digital.

Here’s what the lawyers had to say:

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. Making misrepresentations in the press to inflame the situation is adversely affecting the interests of the parties in seeking any resolution of the matter. On behalf of Apple, we formally reserve all rights to take further legal action against any individuals and entities for any damages that may result from defamatory statements and unlawful actions intended to wrongfully interfere with Apple’s business and business relationships.

Translation: keep your trap shut until this case is resolved. Which is in no danger of being any time soon.

At least the lawyers are happy. ®

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