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Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 06:12 am PT (09:12 am ET)

Apple tells court banning iPad sales would 'hurt China's national interest'

Apple and Proview, the company challenging over the use of the "iPad" name, squared off in court in Shanghai on Wednesday, where Apple argued that a ban on iPad sales would be a negative for the nation of China.

"Proview has no product, no markets, no customers and no suppliers. It has nothing," Hu Jinnan, a lawyer representing Apple, told the court, according to Reuters. "Apple has huge sales in China. Its fans line up to buy Apple products. The ban, if executed, would not only hurt Apple sales but it would also hurt China's national interest."

More than 100 reporters were present for the hearing. A ruling from the Shanghai Pudong New Area People's Court is expected to be handed down soon.

Proview has contended that it owns the rights to the iPad name, and seeks to halt sales of Apple's hot-selling tablet in China. The company has even has some small successes in having units pulled from shelves in a handful of cities.

Officials with Proview indicated once again on Wednesday that they are open to settle with Apple out of court. Roger Xie, a lawyer representing Proview, said negotiations have not yet begun, but a settlement outside of the court is "quite possible."

Proview


Proview's ownership of the iPad name stems from a product it released in 1999 with the same name. It was a basic desktop computer that was designed to be easy to use.

Proview believes that Apple's purchase of the iPad name from one of its Taiwanese affiliates was an unauthorized transaction. For its part, Apple has contended that Proview "refuses to honor" the existing agreement between the two companies.

As its struggles against Proview have dragged on, Apple this week threatened to sue the company for defamation. Apple has claimed that Proview has released false and misleading statements to the press.