A California Superior Court judge dismissed Proview Electronics' lawsuit against Apple in the U.S., in which it had claimed it owns the rights to the iPad trademark, according to a report Wednesday from The Wall Street Journal.
The suit, which is still waging in Proview's home base of China, was extended to the U.S. in February after the Chinese display manufacturer accused Apple of committing fraud when it purchased the iPad trademark from its parent company in 2009. Proview claimed that Apple, which closed the 2009 deal through IP Application Development, a subsidiary established by one of its own law firms, promised it would not leverage the iPad name for product branding.
Instead, Apple allegedly claimed it would only use the name as an abbreviation for the legal subsidiary. But in 2010, the Cupertino, Calif.-based mobile giant launched its first-generation tablet computer, dubbed the iPad.
When the case reached the U.S., Apple sought a dismissal, arguing that the two companies had already agreed to settle the dispute in Hong Kong. According to the Journal, California Judge Mark Pierce ultimately sided with Apple and dismissed the case on the grounds that Proview had failed to prove that settling the case in Hong Kong was in any way "unreasonable or unfair."
Proview lawyer Christopher Evans said in a statement that Pierce's ruling "was not based on the merits of the case." Proview said it is "confident that the facts will show that Apple fraudulently obtained the iPad trademarks" as the case continues in China.
The ongoing legal battle between Apple and Proview first sparked last year, when Proview claimed it owned the rights to the iPad brand in mainland China. It confirmed that Apple had purchased the trademark for use in several other countries as part of their 2009 deal, but said that China was never on the table.
A Chinese court in December rejected Apple's claim to the name and awarded Proview continued ownership in the country. Apple appealed the ruling.
Reports this week suggested Apple had proposed an undisclosed settlement amount that was rejected by Proview, which said there was still a "big gap" between the proposed amount and the amount it was seeking.