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Trouble Escalates For iPads In China As More Cities Halt Apple iPad Orders

Despite appeal of Apple Inc., pending before High Court in China, retailers in more Chinese cities have been told by authorities to take the popular iPad tablet PCs off their shelves this week, media reports said on Thursday, due to a legal battle between a Chinese technology firm and Apple Inc over trademark issues.

Two major shopping malls in Shanghai’s Xujiahui district have stopped ordering iPads, while cities such as Xuzhou in Jiangsu province and Qingdao in Shandong province have asked retailers to pull iPads from store shelves. Amazon in China has also been reported to have stopped online iPad sales, but a company executive said it was due to a supply shortage and not related to the trademark lawsuit.

Commerce Departments of respective states in China, where iPads are being withdrawn, have refused to comment on this development and one department has even said that it had not ordered any ban on iPad sales.

As blogged by me yesterday, this is unfair on the part of China or for that matter any country in the world, to consider appeal for patent infringement at such a late stage, when a particular brand has been well-established worldwide especially in China, where the demand for iPads, is extremely high. Moreover, Apple Inc., is getting its iPad sourced from China and they cannot afford to leave this country under any circumstances.

Chinese government should look into this matter seriously and should prevail upon the petitioner to settle out of court settlement with Apple.

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