Sales of Apple iPads in authorized Shenzhen stores have not been affected by a local court’s ruling that a Shenzhen monitor company owns the rights to the iPad name on the mainland.
The city’s market supervision administration is investigating the trademark dispute, but will not take any action against Apple until all the legal procedures are over, said Zhang Yuhui, a spokesperson for city administrators.
A report from Hebei Youth Daily claimed yesterday that local commerce and industry administrations have begun confiscating iPads from stores in response to the ruling. Stores selling the devices would face fines, the report stated.
Administrations in many cities across the country are also investigating the case.
It remains unclear just how many stores are taking action but, suffice to say, Apple would be significantly affected if it loses its appeal.
But Shenzhen administrators said they would wait until a court decision is made for the second-instance trial.
“We think it is not reasonable to take action based on the first-instance judgment. If Apple wins at the final judgment, it will become very complicated for us, so it is better to wait and see,” Zhang said.
But Zhang said iPad sales could be suspended if Proview applied for protection or tried to block court proceedings.
“We have not received any notice from the administration or the court to suspend sales, but our head company is now getting requests from Apple to see into the case,” Wang Pei, a manager at an Apple-authorized Sunion branch store in Shenzhen, said yesterday.
Apple filed a lawsuit in 2010 against Proview Shenzhen, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Proview International Holdings Ltd., but a recent verdict by Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court ruled Apple lost the case.
Apple has appealed to a higher court. If rejected, Apple could face a fine of as much as 30 billion yuan (US$4.6 billion).