Creditor request to liquidate Proview blocked due to iPad trademark potential

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Proview's lawsuit against Apple over the iPad trademark in China will continue unobstructed now that a court has blocked one creditor's attempt to liquidate the company.

Fubon Insurance had filed multiple requests to have the Shenzhen subsidiary of Proview liquidated without waiting for the former monitor maker to resolve its complaint against Apple. The creditor had said it did not believe Proview would win enough money from Apple to cover its debts.

The Intermediate People's Court of Shenzhen rejected Fubon's request on Saturday, China Daily reports (via The Next Web). The court explained in its decision that the Chinese iPad trademark could provide the money needed to pay back what it owes.

"As it is too early to determine Proview lacks the ability to pay off its debts, the court does not accept Fubon's request to liquidate Proview," the court said.

According to the report, legal experts had suggested that Proview's complaint against Apple may have been brought to a halt if the court had approved the liquidation of the company.

Even with the recent court ruling, Proview isn't in the clear, though, as it still has several powerful creditors, including eight Chinese banks, looking to collect. The company is said to owe as much as 400 million U.S. dollars.

Apple used a third-party company to strike a deal with Proview in 2009 to purchase multiple countries' rights for the iPad trademark, but Proview argues that its Shenzhen subsidiary still owns the trademark because representatives from the Chinese branch were not present when the contract was signed.

A statement from Apple last month accused Proview of intentionally confusing the transaction in order to dodge creditors and get more money.

"Proview clearly made that arrangement so they wouldn't have to give the money to their creditors in" mainland China, Wu said. "Because they still owe a lot of people a lot of money, they are now unfairly trying to get more from Apple for a trademark we already paid for."

The legal dispute between Proview and Apple is occurring across the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and even the U.S. Apple has won decisions in Shanghai and Hong Kong, but it is appealing a Guangdong ruling that sided with Proview.

The disagreement continues even as Apple is preparing to launch its third-generation iPad in China. The company has already received some of the required regulatory approvals for the device and is awaiting network licenses for its 3G-capable iPad.


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