Apple’s chances of winning the iPad trademark battle in China may be slim, according to the remarks of senior official Fu Shuangjian, a deputy director of China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC). In one of the first public comments made by a government official about the Apple-Proview trademark controversy, Fu sided with Proview saying that the iPad trademark currently belongs to the Shenzhen company.
“According to the … provisions of the China Trademark Law, currently Shenzhen Proview is the legal registrant of the iPad trademark,” said Fu during a news conference in Beijing. “This case has a huge impact and the final court ruling would directly influence who owns the iPad trademark. The commerce department will (take the matter) very seriously.”
Although Apple had purchased the iPad trademark from Proview back in 2009, it was allegedly under false pretenses. Proview claims that Apple had used a shell company called IP App Development, Ltd. to buy the trademark. The company said it was buying the trademark because it was the acronym for its name and assured that it would not be used for a competing consumer electronic product.
Proview has been negotiating with Apple but so far the two parties have not reached any agreements. The Shenzhen company says that it is ready to settle out-of-court, presumably for monetary compensation, which it needs to repay its creditors. Apple isn’t known to back down and claims that Proview is just seeking more money to repay debts for a trademark that Apple has already paid for.