China’s Proview seeks to halt iPad exports

China’s Proview is reportedly trying to block shipments of Apple iPads in and out of the country as part of its trademark dispute.

Proview – which is hovering on the verge of bankruptcy – succeeded late last year in persuading a court that it had the rights to the iPad name. The court ruled that a contract assigning the trademark to Apple in 2009 wasn’t valid in China.

Apple’s appealing against the decision.

But, following the ruling, Proview appears to have succeeded in persuading many vendors to stop selling iPads – or at least keep them out of sight.

State newspaper China Daily says that government inspectors have seized 45 of the tablets in Xinhua District, and Proview’s calling for a similar move in other cities.

And, now, Proview is calling on Chinese customs to block shipments of the iPad. Under rules designed to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods, it says it has the right to seize the tablets.

This would obviously affect sales within the country – currently one of Apple’s biggest markets, and one which chief exectutive Tim Cook has described as key to Apple’s future success.

More importantly for Apple, though, a ban could also mean an end to iPad exports – and with the vast majority of iPad production being carried out in China, this could hit supply worldwide.