A Chinese court has rejected a lawsuit filed by Apple, which alleges that Proview Technology is infringing its iPad trademark, spelling potentially disastrous news for the iPad in the country.
A Chinese court has rejected a lawsuit filed by Apple, which alleges that Proview Technology is infringing its iPad trademark.
The Intermediate People's Court in Shenzhen said that Proview had legally registered the iPad trademark in 2000, ten years before Apple's tablet launch.
The ruling is disastrous for Apple, as it could mean it will be forced to change the name of the product in China if Proview counters the lawsuit with a trademark infringement case of its own. Currently Proview wants 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) for infringement and may seek a licensing deal with Apple worth several billion more.
Apple has suffered numerous problems in China relating to counterfeit goods. A number of fake Apple shops were closed down in July, but iPhones and iPads remain extremely popular on the black market.
China is also seen as a pivotal emerging market for smartphone and tablet sales, with many people in the country still using the increasingly less popular feature phones. Failure to tap into this market could have a negative impact on Apple's revenue growth.
Apple is involved in countless lawsuits around the world over copyright, trademark and patent infringement, including numerous cases against rivals HTC and Samsung, but many of these cases are starting to turn against the company.