updated 04:30 pm EDT, Thu June 14, 2012
Parties must continue talking to avoid judgment
The Higher People's Court of Guangdong is delaying its decision on an Apple appeal asserting ownership of the iPad trademark in China, according to Zhao Le, a spokesman for the court's foreign affairs office. Apple has long maintained that it owns the rights to the iPad trademark in mainland China, having made a deal with local owner Proview in 2009. In November, though, a lower court ruled in Proview's favor in a lawsuit, arguing that Proview's Shenzhen division was the actual owner of the mark, but hadn't been represented in the deal.
Apple made an appeal on February 29th. Zhao explains, however, that as long as both Apple and Proview are still in negotiations, it won't issue a ruling. A lawyer for Proview, Roger Xie, adds that a ruling would normally be issued within three months, but that there has been "no specific deadline" while court-sponsored mediation is in progress.
Xie has declined to discuss how talks might be going, and Apple has yet to comment on new developments. Both parties may be eager to settle the situation as soon as possible. Proview is in bankruptcy, and needs settlement money to help pay off creditors. Apple, meanwhile, wants to continue iPad sales in the mainland market, and may be hesitating on launching the tablet's third-generation model there until it can be sure sales will go unhindered.