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Apple sued in US over iPad trademark

A Chinese company claiming it owns the iPad name has filed a lawsuit against Apple in the US, bringing the fight to its home country.

Apple has come under fire in the US from a Chinese company claiming it owns the iPad name.

A unit of Proview International Holdings has already filed a lawsuit in its homeland, claiming it owns the iPad name thanks to a computer it released in the year 2000. It's seeking to ban sales in China (where the iPad is made), and possibly stop Apple exporting the device to foreign markets. Now it's taking the fight right to Silicon Valley, Reuters reports, bringing the ban a step closer to reality.

In its California lawsuit, Proview is accusing Apple of deceiving it when it bought the iPad trademark by not revealing its identity. It did this, Proview claims, by hiding behind a special purpose entity it'd created, named IP Application Development (or IPAD). Those crafty beggars.

Lawyers for this IPAD company claimed it wouldn't be competing with Proview in the consumer electronics market, and refused to say why it wanted the trademark, Proview claims. 

Proview goes further to say those representations were made "with the intent to defraud and induce the plaintiffs to enter into the agreement." Apple's response? It repeated its statement that it bought Proview's worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 countries in 2009.

The iPad has been banned from sale in some Chinese cities because of the dispute. Foxconn's factories in the country, where Apple devices are assembled, are also being investigated by the Fair Labor Association. It's been accused of hiding child workers by Hong Kong labour campaigners.

Apple and Proview couldn't be more different, with the former turning in record profits while the latter struggles to stay afloat. Experts claim there could be different outcomes in the US and Chinese cases.

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