Among several lawsuits filed by Chinese company Proview alleging that it legally owns the "iPad" trademark in China despite a deal December 2009 between Proview's Taiwanese arm and a dummy corporation set up by Apple for the purposes of acquiring the trademark, one lawsuit has been filed in the United States. In that suit, filed in California in late February, Proview alleged that Apple had engaged in deception in its efforts to acquire the trademark.
The Wall Street Journal now reports that the judge handling the case has thrown it out of court, citing an apparent agreement between Apple and Proview to adjudicate their differences in Hong Kong courts, where Apple won a decision last year.
After Proview took its legal case to the U.S., Apple argued for the case to be dismissed on the grounds that the parties had agreed to settle any legal disagreements in Hong Kong.
Judge Pierce upheld that view, writing that Proview failed to provide evidence that the selection of Hong Kong was "unreasonable or unfair," according to a copy of the order.
In response to the decision throwing out the U.S. case, Proview's lawyers claimed that the decision was not based on the merits of the case and that the company will appeal the decision.
The U.S. developments come as Apple and Proview continue their litigation in China, where the two companies are engaging in court-suggested settlement talks that have reportedly seen Apple for the first time making a settlement offer. But the two parties apparently remain far apart in their expectations for a settlement, and it is unclear whether the talks will yield any agreement.