According to Reuters, the ban on shipments in and out of China – a major manufacturing base – would deal a huge blow to Apple’s global sales. But China’s customs authorities are likely to find the ban too difficult to impose.
Yang Long-san, chief of Proview Technology (Shenzhen), told Reuters: “The customs have told us that it will be difficult to implement a ban because many Chinese consumers love Apple products. The sheer size of the market is very big.”
Last year, Apple lost a case to Proview in a Shenzhen court in southern China, when the court decided that Proview owned the iPad trademark. The case will be heard again on February 29.
Some Chinese cities have already ordered retailers to stop selling Apple’s iPad owing to the dispute, it is reported.
Apple has insisted that it bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the trademark in 10 different countries several years ago, including rights to the iPad name from a Taiwan subsidiary of Proview International.
But Proview Technology (Shenzhen) argued that the sale did not cover the trademark’s use in China, where it owns the iPad name.
Yang Long-san confirmed that the Chinese technology firm has applied to local customs for the Apple iPad ban.
He also addressed rumours that Proview had mounted the case because it is in financial trouble, telling Reuters: “Some people say that Proview wants to take the chance to make a sum of money from Apple and this is tarnishing our company’s reputation. We need to clarify what’s the truth behind it.”