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Apple's Chinese iPad opponent faces possible liquidation

Proview Technology, which has been trading legal blows with Apple over the iPad trademark, might come to an end following a creditor's call to liquidate the company.


The Chinese company creating legal headaches for Apple over the iPad name could be close to shutting down.

Computer-monitor maker Proview has been battling Apple over the rights to the iPad trademark at the same time it's been struggling to stay afloat. (A cynic might suggest those two events aren't exactly coincidental.) Now one of Proview's major creditors is trying to sink the company permanently.

Taiwan-based Fubon Insurance is looking to grab $8.68 million in outstanding debt and has filed an application to declare Proview bankrupt and its assets liquidated. And a decision on the matter may not take long.

An official at the Intermediate Court in Shenzhen, home to Proview's main Chinese subsidiary, said he expected an announcement on the case soon, the AP reported, citing information from the Xinhua News Agency.

Even if Proview goes under, though, Apple may still have a legal thorn in its paw. Proview attorney Ma Dongxiao said the company doesn't believe its financial problems will affect the legal case.

Apple is currently arguing its position before the Higher People's Court of Guangzhou, maintaining that it legally bought the rights to the iPad name several years ago.

Proview has been busy suing Apple in both China and the U.S., insisting that the deal didn't include the right to use the iPad trademark in mainland China. Proview said it's even reached out to Apple to try to work out a settlement. But the tablet maker has reportedly been unwilling to negotiate, affirming that it owns the iPad name.

The stakes are high. If Apple loses the case, it would no longer be able to call its popular tablet the iPad in China. If Proview loses, then the reported $1.6 billion in damages it's seeking from Apple would be gone, virtually assuring that the ailing company would have to shut its doors.