A Shanghai court has rejected a request by a Chinese technology firm to stop Apple Inc selling its iPad tablet computers in the city, a source said, part of a wider battle for Apple over the trademark in China.
The Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court ruled in Apple’s favor after a hearing on Wednesday, the source with direct knowledge of the ruling said, confirming a report by the Web site of local official newspaper the Xinmin Evening News.
The Chinese company, Proview Technology (Shenzhen) (深圳唯冠), had said the US tech giant was infringing on a trademark it owns in China.
China is important to Apple not only as a consumer market, but also because the country is a major production base for the iPad and other Apple products.
The dispute, which dates back to a disagreement over what was covered in a deal for the transfer of the iPad trademark to Apple in 2009, has seen iPads seized by authorities in some Chinese cities, and some retailers in some Chinese cities have stopped selling them under court order.
The victory for Apple follows a string of defeats in other Chinese courts, and averted what could have been an embarrassing suspension of iPad sales in Apple’s own flagship stores, of which it has three in Shanghai.
However, it was still not clear whether a separate effort by Proview to seek compensation in the Shanghai court from Apple for alleged trademark infringement would be successful.
Apple disputes Proview’s ownership of the trademark, saying it bought the rights to the name in China from Proview in 2009.