Despite the fact that Apple makes all of its iPads in China, those living within the country might not be able to buy the device right now. It has nothing to do with the price of the tablet which takes the Foxconn workers who put it together months to afford. Instead, the situation has everything to do with a ban placed on the tablet by a court because of trademark violations.
China has banned the sale of the iPad within the country because the iPad is said to infringe on trademarks of Proview, a local manufacturer. Proview is suing Apple over the apparent trademark infringement, and a Lower Chinese court issued the ban on iPad sales.
Apple has appealed earlier rulings favoring Proview’s trademark. Apple also contends that it bought the trademark for iPad from Proview several years ago. According to Apple, Proview just isn’t holding up to it’s end of the agreement, which has resulted in the court banning sales.
Despite the court ruling the iPad is still available across most of mainland China. According to CNBC, iPads have only been pulled from shelves in a few cities, but are still available across most of the country.
The issue at the heart of the matter is that Apple paid $55,000 to a Proview affiliate in Taiwan for the iPad trademark in 2009. The court has ruled that Proview doesn’t need to abide by that agreement.
Without thorough knowledge of the Chinese court system, it’s hard to say exactly what could happen with the ban. Suffice to say Apple’s tablet is still selling in many Chinese cities.
China is one of Apple’s fastest growing markets at the moment, as is evident by the inclusion of Chinese services like QQ in the upcoming Mac OS Mountain Lion.
Apple will do whatever it can to solve this issue before the ban results in stores in all Chinese cities removing the iPad from shelves. China is far too important to Apple to lose sales over a trademark dispute that from an outsider seems like Proview regretting not getting more money for the iPad trademark.
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