The tech giant Apple is facing a great challenge - the iPads have been removed from the shelves in northern China due to the trademark dispute between Apple and Chinese company Proview International.
According to Hebei Youth Daily, some local officials of the Administration of Industry and Commerce (AIC) in Shijiazhuang, the capital city of Hebei Province, have begun confiscating the iPad devices, in response to a complaint of copyright infringement by Proview International.
The legal dispute between Apple and Proview International had started in 2011. Proview International has two subsidiary companies - Proview Technology in Shenzhen and Proview Electronics in Taiwan. And both subsidiaries had registered the trademark iPad- the Taiwan company did it in 2000, whereas the mainland Chinese one did it in 2001.
Apple had bought the Chinese iPad name for $55,000 in 2009 through IP Application Development. Nevertheless, Proview later said that the deal only applied to the trademark in Taiwan, which means the Proview Technology in mainland China has reserved the use off iPad trademark.
However, ignoring the right of Proview Technology, Apple had sold its iPad tablets in China. Not surprisingly, it made Proview Technology very upset and the Shenzhen company had filed for a temporary restraining order in a Shanghai court recently, asking the court to stop Apple from selling and marketing the iPad in China.
The authorities in Shijiazhuang had received the demand from the Proview Technology and then had investigated the Apple reseller stores in its area for trademark-infringement. After verifying, the authorities had seized 45 iPad 2 devices over the weekend.
Except Shijiazhuang, other places, including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Jiangsu and Xuzhou, are also under investigation.
Currently, Apple is facing a dilemma. If Apple loses its second appeal, the tech giant might have to pay as much as $38 million in fines besides tendering an apology to Proview. Otherwise, the iPads, including the yet-to-be-released iPad 3, will be barred from sale in China.
How will the tech giant solve this dilemma? Leave your comments below.