There are some interesting iPad actions going on in China, as the popular tablet has been pulled from China’s Amazon service but it’s unclear why this is happening and what this will mean for the upcoming iPad 3.
Our friends over at TechCrunch have done a good job of digging through it but let’s give you a primer: Apple is facing a lawsuit from a Chinese company called Proview over the rights to the “iPad” name. Apple claims it purchased the rights years ago but Proview is essentially saying it bought the rights from a subsidiary which never had the rights to sell it and if it prevails in court, it could stop Apple from getting iPads in or out of China. This could be a huge problem because we know that nearly all of Apple’s products come from China.
Amazon said that Apple was the one which requested that the iPad be pulled from Amazon China and TechCrunch points out that Proview never even requested an online ban of sales, so it’s kind of mysterious why this is going on. Proview has already won a court ruling in China regarding the trademark but an appeals decision is expected at the end of February, which is roughly a week before we expect the iPad 3 to be officially introduced. Apple could always make this problem go away by some of its massive piles of cash but Proview is seeking more than $1 billion, so you can bet that Apple will fight this as long as it possibly can.
Pulling the iPad from Amazon China may be a strategic move from Apple to show the value of the name resides with its tablet but the company may find itself perilously vulnerable in court, which is a position that it almost never finds itself in. You can be sure we’ll be following this story closely.