iPads Get Confiscated in China After Trademark Infringement Verdict

Local Administrations of Industry and Commerce seizes Apple tablet computers

Chinese media outlets have confirmed that the Proview iPad trademark infringement verdict has prompted some local Administrations of Industry and Commerce (AIC) to confiscate Apple iPads found on sale at several retailers.

Apple has lost a lawsuit challenging Proview's claims on the iPad trademark. The latter is now pressing its infringement case even further. Apple may end up being fined approximately $38 million, while Proview is seeking a whopping $1.6 billion in damages.

As the legal dispute continues, China.com.cn reveals that several retail stores and Apple resellers in the country are being forced to hand over the iPads they had on sale.

To avoid confiscation of the tablet computers, some have removed the iPads from their shelves, but continue to sell them if the customer asks for one.

It should be a matter of time before local authorities confiscate those too, after posing as regular customers.

There is still a bit of confusion regarding the scope of the initiative. It appears that not all retailers are forced to let go of the iPads they bought to resell for a profit.

Digicha.com quotes Stan Abrams, the author of a blog that discusses law, business and economics with a focus on China, who had predicted the ordeal a few days back:

“I can only speculate that it’s political. Look, Beijing AIC can certainly claim that since this case involves a pending civil suit, they feel obligated to step back and wait for a resolution from the court in Guangdong. Maybe,” Abrams wrote.

“But AIC could act if it wanted to, and the court action is Guangdong is now an appeal that most folks expect Apple to lose,” he continued. “Proview is the owner of record of the trademark, and the infringement is crystal clear. No reason at all that AIC could not raid all the Apple stores and resellers in Xicheng District and effectively shut down all iPad sales there.”

“No, really. They could do so tomorrow if the political will was there,” said Abrams.

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