Proview Technology, the Chinese firm embroiled in a legal battle with Apple Inc over the iPad name, said on Wednesday that Chinese customs authorities had told it that any ban on the import or export of the popular tablet PCs would be difficult to impose due to the sheer size of the market.
On Tuesday, lawyers representing Proview Technology (Shenzhen) Co Ltd said the company would seek a ban on exports of Apple's iPads from China, a move that could deal a blow to the U.S. technology giant's sales globally.
The customs have told us that it will be difficult to implement a ban because many Chinese consumers love Apple products. The sheer size of the market is very big, Yang Long-san, chairman of Proview Technology (Shenzhen), told Reuters.
We have applied to some local customs for the ban and they'll report to the headquarters in Beijing, Yang said by telephone.
He added that the best option to resolve the legal dispute would be an out-of-court settlement. The next hearing of the case is due for February 22 in Shanghai.
Proview Technology (Shenzhen) is a unit of troubled Hong Kong-listed Proview International Holdings, which used to be one of the world's top monitor makers until the financial crisis in 2008 crippled its business and operations.
Apple said it bought Proview's worldwide rights to the trademark in 10 different countries several years ago, including rights to the iPad name from a Taiwan subsidiary of Proview International.
However, Proview Technology (Shenzhen) says the sale did not cover the trademark's use in China, where it owns the iPad name.
(Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee, Clare Jim in Taipei and Artemisia Ng from Asian Legal Business; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)