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Monday, March 05, 2012, 08:50 pm PT (11:50 pm ET)

Proview creditor calls for bankruptcy as iPad trademark suit drags on

As the legal battle between Proview and Apple over the iPad trademark in China continues, one creditor has become unwilling to wait for a settlement and has applied to have the ailing monitor maker declared bankrupt.

The Associated Press reports that Fubon Insurance, which is owed $8.68 million by Proview, is seeking to have the company liquidated. A Chinese official, who identified himself only by his surname, in Shenzhen said an announcement about the bankruptcy will come soon.

"It's a sensitive case in a sensitive period of time, so we won't comment or release information while we will have an announcement in the near future," he said.

Ma Dongxiao, a lawyer for Proview, assured that any financial problems the company is experiencing would not affect the ongoing trademark case. Apple is currently appealing a lower court decision that ruled in favor of Proview.

According to reports out of mainland China, Proview had requested that Fubon wait until it had resolved its complaint against Apple, but Fubon rejected the request. A lawyer for the insurance company reportedly said that her client was not convinced that any compensation payments from Apple would be enough for Proview to pay back its debts, which are said to be barely covered by its current assets.

Recent profiles of Proview have characterized it as being on its death bed. The company, which is at risk of being delisted from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, formerly made computer monitors, but its main business now comes from LED street lights. Owner Yang Long-san has said that a win against Apple would help him rebuild the company and "overtake" its competitors.

Proview

"No thoroughfare" sign at a former Proview plant. | Credit: Caixin


Proview has been vocal about its interest in negotiating a settlement with Apple, but, as of last week, the two companies had yet to initiate formal negotiations. Apple continues to insist that it is the rightful owner of the Chinese iPad trademark through a deal that took place in 2009.

Apple has threatened Proview with a defamation countersuit over allegations that the company has made false or misleading public statements about the trademark suit. Proview has responded by accusing Apple of fraud and unfair competition because the iPad maker used an intermediary to negotiate the deal for the trademark.