Proview Electronics has opened up another front in its war against Apple of the iPad name: the United States. The company that is suing Apple in China over use of the "iPad" brand in China, has filed an additional lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of California in Santa Clara. The lawsuit, filed on February 17, alleges that Apple committed fraud when it used a front company – a law firm called IP Application Development Ltd. – to purchase the iPad trademark from Proview on Dec. 23, 2009 for 35,000 British pounds ($55,000 USD).
Proview (and its U.S.-based subsidiary Proview Technology Inc.) said in its court filing that by acquiring the iPad trademark through IP Application Development and not explaining the true purpose of the license, Apple acted "with oppression, fraud and/or malice."
An Apple spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal that it had legally purchased the iPad name from Proview, adding that "Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China, and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter."
According to the filing, Proview obtained the iPad trademark in several countries sometime in 2000 for an Internet appliance called the "iPAD." While that product never materialized, the company still holds the trademark.
Proview has asked the court for damages, to rescind the earlier agreement for the iPad name, and to stop Apple from using the trademark for its products.