Apple has threatened to file a defamation suit against a Chinese firm at the center of a tussle over the iPad trademark in the country.

Apple is asking that the founder of the company Proview, Yang Rongshan, stop releasing what is claimed to be false information to the media.

If that didn’t happen, Apple states in a letter obtained by IDG News Service that it would sue for defamation.

“It is inappropriate to release information contrary to the facts to the media, especially when such disclosures have the effect of wrongfully causing damage to Apple’s reputation,” the letter said.

The letter comes just after Yang held a press conference claiming that the name trademark rights were never given to Apple because they were purchased from a Taiwanese subsidiary and not actually Proview itself.

But Apple’s letter states that Yang and Proview were well aware of the sale for $55,000, with Proview even promising the transfer the trademark.

The battle is only part of the continuing saga between Proview and Apple. In at least one Chinese city, Shijiazhuang, officials began to seize iPad 2s because of the trademark battle.

A Chinese court also ordered a vendor to recently stop selling iPads because of trademark infringement.

Proview is offering to drop all legal action if Apple pays $400 million in compensation. With generous offers like that, it sounds like Proview is simply looking for a settlement to walk away with a tiny part of Apple’s billions. But it sounds like Apple is ready for a long, protracted fight to protect the rights to the iPad name.