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Proview snatched from liquidators' jaws to pursue iPad fight

Fat lady hasn't sung on trademark battle with Apple

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Ailing monitor biz Proview has a green light to pursue its long-running dispute with Apple over the IPAD trademark after a Shenzhen court rejected a request from one of its creditors to liquidate the company.

China Daily reported that Fubon Insurance failed in its bid to claw back some of the money it pumped into Proview Shenzhen, the company that Proview boss Yang Rongshan claims holds the rights to the tablet trademark.

It was thought that if the company was liquidated, the case against Apple may have been terminated.

“As it is too early to determine Proview lacks the ability to pay off its debts, the court does not accept Fubon's request to liquidate Proview," the court ruling stated. It is thought that Proview could be holding out for something in excess of $1bn to settle the case with Apple.

As it stands, judges at Guangdong High Court are considering the evidence after Apple appealed against a judgment last December that ruled in Proview’s favour, although they have asked both sides to reach a settlement out of court.

The stakes are pretty high for both sides, although it is Apple that has the most to lose as it would be unable to sell its shiny fondleslabs in one the world’s biggest and fastest growing markets if the judges once again rule in Proview’s favour.

Apple argued that it bought the rights to IPAD fair and square from Proview Taiwan in 2009 for the princely sum of £35,000, however Proview claims that its Shenzhen affiliate is the only company that had the legal right to sell the name for use in China.

Proview has also countered by filing a lawsuit in the US alleging it was deceived into selling the rights after Apple hid its role in the purchase by using an intermediary firm.

Given that Proview is being kept on life support by a small group of financial institutions, it is these that would end up grabbing most of the money should Proview persuade Apple to put its hands in its rather deep pockets. ®

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