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Court Delays Apple China IPad Trademark Ruling For Talks

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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