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Court wonk tweets Apple's IPAD appeal showdown with Proview

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In an unprecedented display of openness, a Guangdong court will embrace the social networking craze by allowing one of its officials to "live blog" today's appeal hearing during which Apple hopes to secure the right to use the iPad trademark in China.

Liu Lingnan began posting regular updates on homegrown firm Tencent’s Twitter-like weibo platform at 9am local time. If you want to follow what happened and can speak Mandarin, or put up with Google Translate, you can access it through this page.

Displaying almost Reg-like journalistic zeal and rigour, Lingnan’s updates have been coming in thick and fast all day at two or three minute intervals, detailing every twist and turn of the hearing.

In a country where even an innocent retweet could earn you a year’s hard labour, the opening up of Guangdong court is a big deal. Although it’s not the first time this has happened in China, according to the Wall Street Journal, it is definitely the most high-profile occasion.

It will probably not sit too kindly with notoriously secretive Apple either, for this is a company that likes to keep its cards, legal and otherwise, pretty close to its chest and be in control of the information feeds at all times.

The court had adjourned for a two-hour lunch break, as you do, at the time of writing, with no sure indication of who is on top. However, judging by the comments from Tencent users displayed alongside the feed – our favourite being: “Proview, you bitch!” – Apple has more fanbois observing than the ailing monitor firm.

The battle, in case you’d missed it, is against a Shenzhen court ruling in December 2011 which found in Proview’s favour.

The company said that although Apple bought the IPAD trademark from its Taiwan affiliate for use in several countries, this doesn’t cover China, as its Shenzhen affiliate is the part of the company it should have sought out for that particular region. Proview hopes to use the IPAD trademark to extract cash from Apple. ®

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