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China backs Proview in Apple iPad trademark war

Copyright wonk says monitor minnow is rightful owner

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A top Chinese official has said his government regards the IPAD trademark as the property of Shenzhen Proview Technology, piling extra pressure on Apple to settle over the alleged unauthorised use of the word.

Yan Xiaohong, the deputy director of China's National Copyright Administration, told reporters in Beijing that the administration reckons Proview is the rightful owner of the trademark, according to the Associated Press newswire. Cash-strapped Proview hauled Apple into court last year, claiming that the iPad maker had no right to use the name for its fondleslab in China because it holds the trademark.

"The dispute between Apple and Shenzhen Proview concerning the iPad trademark is going through the judicial process," Yan said in a news conference.

But he added that "according to our government's laws, Shenzhen Proview is still the lawful representative and user of the trademark".

The comments come just a few days after it was reported that the Guangdong High Court, which is hearing the case between Apple and Proview, said it was seeking a settlement in the case.

Ma Dongxiao, a lawyer for Proview, said that the company expected the case to end out of court, and the only thing holding that up was the amount of money Apple would be forking over for using the IPAD name.

"It is likely that we will settle out of court. The Guangdong High Court is helping to arrange it and the court also expects to do so," Ma said.

However Chinese courts often ask firms to settle cases in mediation, and it's not necessarily an order to come to a deal. ®

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