An export ban on the product would have brought global shipments of the iPad to a halt, as Apple outsources manufacturing to Chinese companies, such as Foxconn. Still, Proview has asked authorities in about 20 cities to halt the sales of iPads.
At the same time some third-party retailers are taking a defensive posture, eliminating iPads from their stores. Amazon.com China and Suning.com have removed the iPad from sale.
Apple says it purchased worldwide rights to the iPad trademark from parent company Proview International several years ago. However, Proview Technology, a Shenzhen affiliate, said the sale did not cover the trademark's use in China, where it owns the iPad name.
Apple lost a case to Proview Technology in a Shenzhen court late in 2011, when the court sided with the company over ownership of the iPad trademark. Apple has appealed to a higher court, the next hearing in the case is scheduled for February 29.