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US court tosses out Proview's IPAD trademark gripe

Monitor biz and Apple told to end spat in China

By Brid-Aine Parnell, 9 May 2012

A US judge has thrown out the case brought by Proview that accused Apple of tricking it into selling the "IPAD" name for less than it should have.

China's Proview filed the case in February, claiming that Apple had deliberately created a special company called IP Application Development (IPAD) just to talk Proview into handing over the trademark. The IPAD firm told Proview that it would not compete with it, but didn't say why it needed the name, which the Chinese firm said was fraud.

However, Judge Mark Pierce dismissed the case last week after agreeing with Apple that the situation had to be sorted out in Hong Kong, not the US.

"[Apple] provides evidence that plaintiff specifically requested the Hong Kong forum and is litigating there currently,” Pierce wrote in his decision, seen by Bloomberg. "[Proview] does not, in opposition, present evidence that demonstrates that enforcement of the forum selection clause is unreasonable or unfair."

The news comes as Apple and Proview's mediation talks in China rumble on, although reports claim that the two firms are getting closer to a settlement.

Apple has always maintained that it bought the worldwide rights to the trademark fair and square for £35,000, but Proview has said that it laid hands on the name unethically and that the rights Apple ended up with do not cover China. ®