Apple has asked Amazon to stop selling iPads in China as part of the ongoing dispute with Proview Technology over the iPad trademark.

The development comes just days after Chinese authorities seized iPad stock, forcing other retailers to remove the Apple tablet from sale, for fear of their stock being taken.

Proview Technology of Shenzhen in southern China claims that it has owned the rights to the iPad name in China since 2001; Apple is reported to be facing a fine of $38m (£24m) from the Chinese government while Proview is seeking $1.6bn in damages.

The Associated Press reports that "a website of China Business News says authorities in the central city of Zhengzhou and eastern port of Qingdao seized iPads from retailers following seizures in Shijiazhuang and Xuzhou.

"The Economic Observer newspaper said authorities in the eastern city of Weihai are investigating a complaint by Proview Technology that Apple is violating its rights to the iPad name."

Proview said it has asked regulators in more than 40 cities to investigate possible trademark violations.

Although Chinese courts are yet to grant Apple permission to use the iPad name, the Californian company points out that it won a similar case in Hong Kong, where a court said, reported by The Wall Street Journal, "Proview, its subsidiaries and at least one other company had combined together 'with the common intention of injuring Apple,' by breaching the agreement over the iPad name.

"The court, calling the event a conspiracy, further said Proview had 'attempted to exploit the situation as a business opportunity,' by asking for money."

Apple believed that it had purchased the rights to the iPad trademark in a $55,000 deal with Proview's parent company, but it is now understood that - while including rights in Europe - the purchase did not include the use of 'iPad' in China.

"We've appealed to Apple through its agents to have a settlement, but so far we haven't received any response from them," said a Proview lawyer, Xie Xianghui.