Just when Apple (NYSE: AAPL) seemed unstoppable – soaring to an all-time high of $526 and on the way to what appeared to be its inevitable crowning as a $500 billion company – the company hit a roadblock: A trademark fight over the name iPad with Chinese company, Proview Technology.
Proview attorney, Roger Xie:
“I think we have the right to ask the customer to ban the import and export of the suspected trademark infringement product.”
While the debt-laden Proview tries to ban all imports and exports of iPads from China – an unlikely result according to many – it’s having success getting some iPads pulled from Chinese shelves, according to this Shanhai store manager:
“For Apple iPads, the administrative authority for industry and commerce had told us to pull the product off our shelves. So we’ve returned the unsold iPads to Apple and stopped selling the product.”
News of the pulled iPads hit Apple shares, with the stock losing as much as $39 from its all-time high.
Proview sounds optimistic about a settlement and considering Apple clocked revenue of $13 billion in China last year, they’re hoping for a big payday.
With Apple sitting on nearly $100 billion in cash, the company has deep pockets, but it also has experienced lawyers. According to data from Thomson Reuters Westlaw, Apple was sued over patents 76 times in 2011.
For now the trademark dispute, plus concerns over working conditions at Chinese suppliers and a possible re-weighting of Apple on the Nasdaq 100, may be putting a $500 ceiling on shares.
But the street remains unfazed. The mean price target on the stock is $569.