Retailers in Shijiazhuang, China, have halted sales of Apple’s iPad after it was claimed that the Cupertino company does not have the rights to the iPad trademark in the country. Proview Technology, which believed it still owns the iPad name, is seeking $38 million in compensation from Apple and seems to have secured a ban in at least one city as Chinese authorities begin confiscating the device.
The Proview dispute came to light last week when it was reported that the company was looking to sue Apple for trademark infringement in China. Apple bought the iPad name from Proview way back in 2006 for around $55,000, but Proview claims it did not sell the rights to the name in China.
Without permission to use the iPad name in China, Apple’s popular tablet is being banned. Retailers in the city of Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province, have already ceased sales, while Chinese authorities are confiscating the device from store shelves
What’s interesting is that the ban appears to be exclusive to one city only at this point, with retailers in other cities continuing to sell the device. The iPad is also still available in China from Apple’s online retail store.
Proview is looking to secure 240 million yuan ($38 million) in compensation from Apple for using the iPad name, and it isn’t about to back down easily. The company is reportedly in dire straits financially, and it needs this money from Apple to rescue itself.
China is a massive market for Apple, with Tim Cook labeling the country “very key” during a quarterly earnings call last July. It’s likely Apple will want to resolve the issue quickly, then, before the ban expands into other territories and has a huge impact on the iPad.
[via The Next Web]