Chinese government official says Proview owns the iPad name

Proview Technology has been battling with Apple over who rightfully owns the iPad name in China. Now, Fu Shuangjian, a deputy director for the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, says the name really does belong to Proview.

“According to the … provisions of the China Trademark Law, currently Shenzhen Proview is the legal registrant of the iPad trademark,” said Shuangjian. The court will probably rule in favor of Proview for this reason. It’s the first time any government official made any public statements on the matter.

The news that Proview owns the iPad name in China isn’t really that surprising. The fact that Apple probably already knew that and went ahead using the name for its tablet anyway also isn’t really that surprising. Cisco originally owned the iPhone trademark, but in 2007 when Apple announced a smartphone with that exact name, it was clear the company didn’t give a damn. Those two have since resolved their disputes.

As for this case, the court remains stern. “This case has a huge impact and the final court ruling would directly influence who owns the iPad trademark. The commerce department will (take the matter) very seriously,” commented Shuangjian.

Apparently, lawyers for Proview and Apple are in talks but have yet to reach an agreement. Proview is said to prefer skipping all the legal business and getting straight to the compensation. That’s pretty good news though: if Proview is looking for money, Apple has plenty of it. Think $110 billion.

Reuters tried to contact Apple requesting a statement, but had no such luck.

[via Reuters]

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