iPad 2 seized from Chinese law enforcement after Apple lost the trademark dispute with Proview
Apple lost a trademark patent case against the Chinese Proview for the term "iPad" last month, which it is currently appealing. The Chinese authorities, however, have apparently been notified of the lawsuit outcome on Friday, and asked to step in against retailers selling the iPad 2.
Now a Chinese newspaper is reporting that local law enforcement is seizing the stock of iPad 2 at retailers, and they are forced to actually hide it in the back of the store, selling it almost as on the black market, with no visible iPad 2 displays in most stores the reporter visited.
Proview demands a $38 million compensation (down from $1.5 billion) and an "apology", although the outcome of Apple's appeal is not yet determined. The "iPad" trademark patent is valid for Greater China, after the People's Court of Shenzhen ruled that Proview's patent over the name
Authorities have reportedly seized 45 iPads from a local store owner the newspaper is reporting about, and we bet Apple is hoping that these sporadic confiscations don't turn into a full-blown ban affecting its highly-traveled Chinese Apple Stores as well.
With close to $100 billion in cash, though, we bet that Cupertino will wiggle its way out of this relatively unscathed - it can't really make bad impressions in a tablet market that is growing 50% a year, like Greater China.