Early this month, reports about animosity brewing between Cupertino-based, Apple Inc. and Shenzhen, China-based, Proview Technology first surfaced. The two companies have been bickering over a trademark dispute, pertaining to the use of the word – iPad, while in China, since they hold the rights to that name. Now, a New York Times reports that Chinese authorities, elsewhere in China, too have begun seizing several units of the tablet from local retailers. According to reports, retailers in Xuzhou city, in coastal Jiangsu Province is where the iPad tablets are currently facing “temporary impoundment”. This action comes post a December ruling, when the court rejected Apple's plea, which stated that they were the rightful owners of the trademark name – iPad – in China. The company then, according to this report initiated an investigation in some 20 other Chinese cities, with an aim to find out, if the tablets were being sold anywhere else, despite the ruling. The ruling allows authorities to impound the sale of the tablets, until the inquiries get done with.

The App Store on the iPad

Patent woes 

The report further elaborated that, after the investigations began, authorities managed to seize some 45 iPads from outlets in Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei Province, about 265 kilometers, or 165 miles, southwest of Beijing. Several retailers, the report suggests have removed the tablets off their displays, and some were even ready to sell these under the counter. The report further adds, “Proview has also made a filing with the General Administration of Customs in China, Mr. Ma said, putting Apple on notice that the company could seek to block the export of iPads, should Proview’s ownership claims be upheld. In effect, the seizures and the filing are warnings by Proview of the havoc it could wreak unless Apple agrees to pay a large fee to settle the trademark fight.

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