In a heated courtroom hearing in Shanghai Wednesday, Apple defended its right to use the iPad trademark in China.
Apple is struggling in the case, filed by the Shenzhen Proview Technology, which denies that they have sold the mainland China rights to the tablet's name.
Proview Technology (Shenzhen) says it owns the Chinese rights to the iPad name and argued that the sale of the iPad trademark to Apple by Proview's Taiwan affiliate in 2009 was invalid.
In 2001, Shenzhen Proview Technology registered the iPad trademark in China. Apple bought rights to the name from a Taiwan company affiliated with Proview Technology.
Apple has no right to sell iPads under that name, Proview Technology's lawyer Xie Xianghui argued.
Continue Reading Below
Apple defended its stand and counter attacked Proview by saying that the company had violated the sales contract by failing to transfer the trademark rights for the iPad name in mainland China.
The hearing at the Shanghai court was adjourned after a fractious four-hour session Wednesday. The courtroom witnessed heated discussions since the judge repeatedly asked both sides to observe proper court protocol.
Next hearing date has not been yet announced by the judges.
Apple's officials have said that iPads popularity has benefited China in terms of tax revenues and creating jobs in their manufacturing units.
Apple's lawyer Qu Miao said, They (Proview) have no market, no sales, no customers. They have nothing ... The iPad is so popular that it is in short supply. We have to consider the public good.
Xie said, Whether people will go hungry because you can't sell iPads in China is not the issue. The court must rule according to the law. Do you absolutely have to sell the product? Can't you sell it using a different name?
The trademark case is bringing in huge reactions in China and the world around. A similar kind of case was ruled out in Hong Kong last July, where the court said that Proview had acted with the intention of injuring Apple.