Apple’s dispute over the iPad trademark in China continues on after Proview, the company that is the legally recognized holder of the term, was spared from liquidation by a court ruling, according to China Daily.
Cash-strapped Proview had been taken to court by one of its creditors, Fubon Insurance, in a move made last year that could have had significant bearing on its case with Apple. However, the application to have Proview declared bankrupt was rejected by a court in Shenzhen, which stated: “As it is too early to determine Proview lacks the ability to pay off its debts, the court does not accept Fubon’s request to liquidate Proview.”
It had been suggested that Proview’s financial issues, which saw the Taiwanese LCD maker fall from being a top ten worldwide player in its niche, could halt the case and, despite the ruling, its other creditors may yet have significant influence on future developments with Apple.
Aside from Fubon, other creditors — which include the Bank of China and Minsheng Bank — are said to have been “controlling” Proview since 2009. Owed significant sums by the firm, the banks are believed to be keen on negotiating a settlement with Apple, which could bring a lucrative pay out.
In spite of financial problems, a recent letter from Proview aggressively warned Apple partner with legal action of they are found to be selling or transporting iPads in China.
Apple has already released its new, third-generation iPad in a number of markets worldwide, however China is notably absent from the countries supported. That may, in part, be down to the Proview legal wrangle but Apple is also well known for delaying the launch of products in the country.
Apple CEO Tim Cook met with Chinese official when he visited China last week, and it seems likely that the trademark dispute was one topic that was raised. It remains unclear what influence that the discussions and Cook’s trip, which was the first visit to China from a serving Apple CEO, will have on the case with Proview.
As things stand, Apple is awaiting the response from its appeal against a November decision which granted ownership of the trademark to Proview. The result is expected within the next two months.