Apple Wins Dismissal of Proview IPad Lawsuit

Apple Inc. (AAPL) won dismissal of Proview Electronics Co.’s California lawsuit seeking to block it from using the iPad name, according to a copy of the court order obtained by Bloomberg News.

Proview, based in Taiwan, has sought to block shipments of Apple’s iPad tablet computer in and out of China. In the California case, filed in state court in San Jose, Proview claimed a December 2009 agreement to sell iPad trademarks to an Apple unit called IP Application Development Ltd. should be canceled. The Apple unit made “false” statements to Proview in correspondence before the agreement, according to the filing.

Apple successfully argued that the case should be dismissed because the agreement required that the dispute be resolved in Hong Kong.

Apple “provides evidence that plaintiff specifically requested the Hong Kong forum and is litigating there currently,” Judge Mark H. Pierce wrote in his May 4 decision. Proview “does not, in opposition, present evidence that demonstrates that enforcement of the forum selection clause is unreasonable or unfair,” Pierce wrote.

The dismissal “was not based on the merits of the case,” Christopher Evans, a lawyer representing Proview, said in an e-mailed statement.

“We are looking forward to presenting the facts in this case to the appellate court, and we are confident that the facts will show that Apple fraudulently obtained the iPad trademarks,” Evans said.

Worldwide Rights

Apple acquired Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 countries, including China, the Cupertino, California-based company said Feb. 14.

Proview claimed Graham Robinson, an agent for IP Application, used the name Jonathan Hargreaves in correspondence with Proview before the Dec. 23, 2009, agreement to acquire all of Proview’s iPad-related trademarks for 35,000 British pounds ($55,267), according to court filings.

The case is Proview Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc., 12-cv-219219, California Superior Court, Santa Clara County (San Jose).

To contact the reporters on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net; Adam Satariano in San Francisco at asatariano1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net; Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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