Apple Inc. lost an crucial bid in a Chinese court yesterday to reclaim its iPad name from a Chinese manufacturer who registered the iPad trademark in mainland China in 2001. The Municipal Intermediate People’s Court in Shenzhen rebuffed Apple’s claims that Hong Kong-based Proview Technology Shenzhen had infringed its iPad trademark, which Apple contends that it bought from Proview’s Taipei division in 2009, Xinhua News reported. The Chinese court held that there was no valid transfer of the name in China and that Proview, a unit of Hong Kong-based Proview International Holdings Ltd., lawfully registered the trademark in 2001 and continues to have the right to use it in mainland China. Oviously this is a significant blow because Apple views China as a critical market.
The iPad brand is having a bad run of luck. On December 2, 2011, a California judge refused to enjoin Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. from selling touch-screen smartphones and tablets even though she found the devices may violate design and utility patents for Apple’s iPhone and iPad. Despite the fact that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh held that Apple was likely to prevail on its patent infringement claims against Samsung’s Galaxy S 4G, Infuse 4G and Droid Charge phones and its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, Apple was not able to convince her that it would suffer irreparable harm from the alleged infringement.