iPad China
iPad stock has been seized in Chinese stores

A long-standing trademark dispute regarding the iPad between Apple Inc and China-based subsidiary of Proview International Holdings Ltd (maker of computer displays), has reached a flash point, as the latter has asked local customs officials to ban the former's export business in China. As a result, Apple's market shares and growth prospects could take a serious dent considering China is their biggest potential market.

Amazon has been asked to suspend iPad sales on its website by Apple as the latter is under pressure from customs officials and allegations from PIH Ltd. The Californian company has cited Amazon's unauthorised sales of iPads on its Chinese website as the reason for suspension, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Legal analysts have hinted that Proview's action is designed with crooked intentions to put pressure on Apple and force a settlement for monetary gains. Elsewhere in China, local officials have reportedly been confiscating iPads from retailers owing to the two-year- long trademark dispute between the two firms (Apple Inc and PIH.).

Apple has defended its claims saying that it acquired the trademark rights from Proview for ten countries, including China, and that Proview "refuses to honour their agreement with Apple in China."

Way back in December, a local Chinese court, in a separate litigation, dismissed Apple's claims that it owns the iPad trademark in mainland China, citing agreements with Proview. In its decision, the court said Apple lacked legal proof of its claims, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Amid escalating tensions with iPad bans and confiscations from custom officials, two major shopping malls in Shanghai's Xujiahui district have resorted to iPad order suspensions, while cities such as Xuzhou in Jiangsu province and Qingdao in Shandong province have asked retailers to remove iPads from store shelves, according to Reuters as cited by www.yicai.com, the website of finance-focused Chinese newspaper Diyi Caijing Daily.

Proview's attack comes in the aftermath of serious allegations plaguing Apple with regard to hazardous working conditions of employees. Apparently, a team of inspectors paid a visit to Apple's manufacturing plants run by Foxconn on Monday, in a bid to ascertain the truth of allegations leveled against the Californian Company.

Quite surprisingly, despite these controversies, Apple shares have recorded an all-time high of $500 value for the first time this week after the company announced $13bn (£8.3bn pounds) of profits in the last quarter of 2011.

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