Apple faces the threat of an export ban on its iPad devices from China, where the vast majority of its tablets are made, after a Chinese technology firm filed a lawsuit claiming it owns the iPad trademark.
According to Reuters the firm, Proview, filed the request asking for Chinese custom authorities to halt both exports and imports of the device, although this has not yet been granted.
Apple is already appealing a ruling handed down in Shenzhen, home of Proview and the location of one of the main Foxconn factories that produces iPads, which found in favour of the Chinese firm last year as it sought damages of $1bn over the trademark abuse.
In a statement issued on Tuesday Apple said it did not believe there was any case to answer as it has already paid the firm for the trademark.
"We bought Proview's worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago," it said.
"Proview refuses to honour their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter. Our case is still pending in mainland China."
The case will be of particular concern to Apple, though, as it is expected to launch the iPad 3 in March.
The action is the latest in a long line of legal disputes Apple is engaged in, as it faces challenges from rivals including Motorola and Samsung over numerous issues including patents in use on smartphone and the design of tablets made by the rival manufacturers.
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More than 800,000 home users could be affected