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Proview calls for iPad export ban without a hint of irony

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Proview has announced plans to step up its action against Apple, and says it will call on customs officials to ban both the import and export of iPads, as well as confiscate the devices in 30 more cities.

iPad 2 stock press image
iPad 2 stock press image

Proview Shenzen has said that it plans to continue its aggressive stance against Apple following the news yesterday that officials had begun seizing iPads in Hebei, requesting not only more confiscations but also a ban on both import and export of the device. The two companies have been locked in a trademark dispute for the past two years, however in December Apple lost its appeal in the Chinese courts, with the judge deciding that Proview isn't bound by an earlier deal made by its Taiwanese affiliate to license the name to Apple. An Apple spokesperson said, "We bought Proview's worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China."

Ironically, Proview is able to demand the seizure and ban on export of iPads under laws enacted to prevent the sale of Chinese counterfeit goods including clothing, movies, and music. The company is also facing financial troubles, with deep debts meaning that it could be seeking a large settlement from Apple to help stay afloat.

A ban on the export of iPads would have international ramifications as all of the tablets are assembled in China — something that's unlikely to change anytime soon given the benefits Apple enjoys from co-locating manufacturing and assembly with Chinese supply lines. Proview has requested that the Administration Industry and Commerce (AIC) enact similar confiscations in 30 other cities.