A Chinese court has rejected Apple's lawsuits on its iPad trademark infringement in China, which may force the technology giant to sell its iconic tablet under a new name in the country or pay $1.6 billion to a little known Chinese company to keep using the name.
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant had filed two lawsuits against local monitor maker Proview Technology (Shenzhen), a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Proview International Holdings Ltd, for infringing on its iPad trademark in China.
The Municipal Intermediate People's Court in Shenzhen, earlier this week rejected both of Apple's lawsuits, saying that the sale of the trademark by Proview's Taiwan subsidiary was not valid.
In 2000, Proview Taiwan, registered the trademarks "iPAD" and "IPAD" in many countries, while Proview Technology (Shenzhen) registered the trademark in China in 2001 with a view to launching its own tablet in the future.
Proview Taipei sold the global rights to the trademark in 2009 to UK-based firm IP Application Development, for £35,000 ($55,104), which in turn sold it to Apple in 2010.
But Proview Technology (Shenzhen) says that the trademark for the Chinese market was not included in that agreement because it owned the rights for the trademark in China and not its Taiwan unit.