The company, Proview International Holdings, is suing the technology company for “fraud by international misrepresentation, fraud by concealment, fraudulent inducement and unfair competition”.

Proview released a computer in 2000 under the name “iPad” and claims it owns the rights to the name.

Apple announced its iPad tablet in January 2010 and during the last 14 weeks of 2011 the technology giant sold 15.43 million iPads.

The company is seeking to ban sales in China and stop Apple exporting the device to foreign markets.

Apple responded in a statement, saying that it bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in ten countries back in 2009.