China higher court hears Apple’s iPad trademark appeal

“Lawyers for Apple Inc. argued for its right to use the iPad trademark in China on Wednesday, as a higher court began a crucial hearing that could result in sales of the wildly popular tablet computer being halted throughout the Chinese mainland,” Lee Chyen Yee and Huang Yuntao report for Reuters.
“The Higher People’s Court of Guangzhou is hearing an appeal by the U.S. firm after a lower court ruled in favour of debt-laden Chinese tech company Proview Technology (Shenzhen), which says it owns the trademark in China,” Yee and Yuntao report. “‘The value of iPad’s trademark rocketed after Apple launched the tablet computer in January 2010,’ a lawyer for Apple told the court. ‘In the eyes of the consumer, iPad is associated with Apple. If the court decides that Proview wins the case, then this will confuse consumers and hurt their interests.’”

Yee and Yuntao report, “The verdict of the higher court — which is not expected immediately — is usually final under Chinese law, and will set a precedent for other cases in lower courts around China… Lawyers said a final decision by the high court could take weeks, if not months.”

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