Apple faces a lawsuit over the name iPad in a new legal dispute.
According to the Financial Times, Proview, a "struggling Taiwanese-owned company", has threatened to sue Apple for alleged trademark infringement, claiming ownership of ' I-Pad' a device the company tried to market 10 years ago.
"We will sue them for damages in China and in the US," Yang Rongshan, Proview’s chairman, told the FT.
Proview, a contract manufacturer of flat screens, registered trademarks in the EU, China, Mexico, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam between 2000 and 2004, trademark databases show.
Citing "people involved in the case," the FT adds Apple has successfully won preliminary injunctions to stop Proview from selling off the IPAD name, in pending cases in Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
As far back as 2006, Proview agreed to sell the "global trademark" for the name to a US registered company called IP Application Development (IPAD) for £35,000 ($55,104), which at the time Proview didn't think had any direct links with Apple.
Proview now claims that the trademarks for the Chinese market were not part of the 2006 deal.
Apple launched the iPad in China in September this year, offering the Wi-Fi model for sale.
"It is arrogant of Apple to just ignore our rights and go ahead selling the iPad in this market, and we will oppose that," Mr Yang, Proview Electronics (Taiwan) said.
"Besides that, we are in big financial trouble and the trademarks are a valuable asset that could help us sort out part of that trouble." Proview’s Shenzhen unit recently defaulted on loans worth $400m.
[Via the Financial Times]