Apple’s iPad Being Pulled from Store Shelves and May Be Denied Export
Due to a legal battle between a Taiwanese technology firm, Proview Technologies over the iPad trademark, retailers in Chinese cities have been asked to remove it from their shelves and to stop selling the popular tablet PCs.
Several major shopping malls in Shanghai’s Xuliahui District have already stopped ordering iPads, while other cities such as Xuzhou and Qingdao have asked retailers to refrain from selling the devices. The trend began when authorities ordered retailers in Beijing to stop selling iPads.
The Commerce department in Qingdao said that there was no formal ban on the selling of iPads, but the administrative authority and commerce gave an order to ask retailers to refrain from selling them. Several stores have already returned their stocks of unsold iPads to Apple and have stopped selling them. The debt stricken Proview Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd have asked for help from authorities to tell more than 30 cities to stop selling iPads.
Reports on Amazon China no longer selling iPads is not due to the trademark issues but a supply shortage.
Lawyer Roger Xie, who represents Proview said that according to regulations on the protection of intellectual property law, that they have the right to ask for the ban in the import and export of items that are considered a trademark infringing product. But Proview Technology chief Yang Long -san said that customs authorities informed them that it is impossible to impose a ban on the product known of its size on the market.
Apple lost its case against Proview in a Shenzhen court, when the court agreed with Proview’s ownership of the iPad trademark. Proview is now seeking to ban the export of Apple’s iPads from China, which is the company’s major manufacturing base, which could seriously affect Apple’s global sales.
The next case hearing is set on February 29 and doubts are in the air that the court are likely to rule in Apple’s favor. If this happens Apple could face a fine of up to 30 billion yuan for the 3 million iPads that have been sold in China. Experts are saying that the best possible solution for both parties is an out of court settlement and compensation to Proview, which in turn hopes that the payment can revive the company.