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Proview files iPad lawsuit in U.S. court

Chinese company claims Apple committed fraud when it acquired the iPad trademark from one of Proview's subsidiaries in 2009.

Proview wants its iPad trademark agreement with Apple rescinded.

Proview Electronics, the company that's made attempts to keep the iPad off store shelves in China, is now taking aim at Apple in the U.S. too.

Proview filed a new lawsuit against Apple last week in California Superior Court in Santa Clara County, claiming Apple committed fraud when it acquired the iPad trademark through U.K. subsidiary IP Application Development in 2009, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The suit, which was filed on February 17, accuses Apple of acting "with oppression, fraud and/or malice," for not disclosing that it would be the eventual trademark holder, the Journal says. As a result, Proview is seeking damages in addition to rescinding the earlier agreement and an order prohibiting Apple from using the iPad name, which Proview has used on products since 1998.

Apple and Proview have been engaged in a bitter trademark dispute of the iPad name. Proview has sued Apple in Chinese courts, claiming Apple is violating its trademark by using the iPad name in China. However, Apple says it acquired worldwide rights to the iPad name long ago.

Apple representatives did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the lawsuit, but the company has previously stated that it made a deal with Proview that the Chinese company refuses to honor.

"We bought Proview's worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter," an Apple representative told CNET.

Proview says one of its subsidiaries sold the name to Apple years ago but didn't have the authority to do so. Proview has reportedly been looking to settle out of court over the issue but says that Apple has so far failed to respond to its requests.

Proview representatives had previously threatened to file a $2 billion lawsuit against Apple in U.S. courts on the grounds that Apple bought the rights to the iPad name on condition that it would not make products to compete with Proview.