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Court Delays Apple China IPad Trademark Ruling For Talks

Court Delays Apple China IPad Trademark Ruling for Mediation
The Proview Technology (Shenzhen) Co. factory in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China. Apple Inc. has said it acquired rights to the iPad trademark in China from Proview International Holdings Ltd. in 2009. Photographer: Edmond Lococo/Bloomberg

June 14 (Bloomberg) -- A Chinese court will delay its decision on Apple Inc.’s appeal of a ruling denying its ownership of the iPad trademark in China to let the company pursue mediation with Proview Technology (Shenzhen) Co.

The Higher People’s Court of Guangdong won’t release a ruling on Apple’s Feb. 29 appeal so long as both parties continue talking, Zhao Le, a spokesman at the court’s foreign affairs office said in a phone interview today.

Apple revenue in China tripled to $7.9 billion last quarter, helped by surging demand for products including the iPad tablet computer. The Cupertino, California-based company has said it acquired rights to the iPad trademark in China from Proview International Holdings Ltd. in 2009. A lower court ruled last November the agreement was invalid because Proview’s Shenzhen-based unit owned the mark and wasn’t represented.

While a ruling on an appeal would normally be issued within three months, the clock hasn’t been running while the two companies are in court-sponsored mediation, said Roger Xie, a Proview Technology lawyer.

“The mediation will continue,” Xie said in a phone interview today. “There is no specific deadline.”

Xie declined to provide details on the status of talks with the Cupertino, California-based company. Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu didn’t immediately return calls.

Apple has offered compensation to resolve the dispute, though a “big gap” remains between the two sides, Xie said in May.

Shares of Hong Kong-listed Proview International have been suspended from trading since 2010.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Edmond Lococo in Beijing at elococo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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