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A court decision today indicates that Apple may not own the ‘iPad’ name in China

In October, Taiwanese company Proview Electronics accused Apple of trademark infringement regarding the “iPad” moniker, with the company’s chairman promising to sue Apple for damages in both the US and China. Apple quietly purchased the global rights to the trademark, but also launched a lawsuit to gain the rights in China, which weren’t included in the agreement. Shenzhen-based Intermediate People’s Court today rejected Apple’s lawsuit to gain ownership over the Chinese trademark, according to a report from Reuters.

According to Financial Times, Proview apparently had the iPad trademark registered in several regions including the EU, South Korea, Singapore, China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia. The report claims the company unsuccessfully tried to market a tablet computer known as I-PAD roughly ten years ago. Although courts are said to have not yet reached a final decision on ownership, Apple has reportedly already won preliminary injunctions for the trademark in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

In 2006 Proview agreed to sell the global iPad trademark to US-based IP Application Development (IPAD) for £35,000 ($55,104), at which time Proview didn’t know had connections to Apple. The Chinese trademarks, filed as far back as 2000, were apparently not included in that agreement, leading Apple and IP Application Development to sue Proview.

In October, Proview chairman Yang Rongshan had this to say about the case:

It is arrogant of Apple to just ignore our rights and go ahead selling the iPad in this market, and we will oppose that,” Mr Yang said. “Besides that, we are in big financial trouble and the trademarks are a valuable asset that could help us sort out part of that trouble.

As of October, Proview was apparently seeking legal damages from Apple to the tune of 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.