Apple has finally lost iPad trademark china lawsuit against Proview. It has coughed up $60M. Apple has coughed up $60 million to settle a dispute with a Chinese company over ownership of the iPad name. This announcement from the Guangdong High People’s Court on its Sina Weibo on Monday lifts the ban on iPad sales in the Chinese market, the second largest source of income for Apple after the US market.
While Apple had claimed that it had bought the rights to use the iPad name from Shenzhen Proview Technology in 2009. Apple had paid in Taiwan 35,000 British pounds ($55,000) to buy the rights. However, Chinese authorities concurred that the rights never got transferred. Proview had registered the iPad trademark in Chine in 2001. Last December it was ruled in Chinese court that since Proview owned the name in China the company’s demand to seize iPads ran valid.
In an official statement, the Guangdong High People’s Court said, “The iPad dispute resolution is ended. Apple Inc. has transferred $60 million to the account of the Guangdong High Court as requested in the mediation letter.”
Chinese company Shenzen Proview Technolgy is a subsidiary of LCD screen maker Proview International Holdings Ltd. Headquartered in Hong Kong, Proview had hoped it would get more than the stipulated $400 million, but is pressured to agree because the firm needs to pay off its debts quickly, as per its lawyer Xie Xianghui. According to him, Proview might still be declared bankrupt in a separate legal proceeding despite the infusion of settlement money.
He said, “This is a result that is acceptable to both sides.”
According to weibo posts, Apple paid $60 million to the court’s directed account.
In other places, ourt verdicts and execution notice will be sent to the State Administration for Industry and Commerce Trademark Bureau for transferring iPad related trademarks to Apple.
The Guangdong High People’s Court began a public hearing on the iPad trademark dispute case between Proview and Apple this February. Even after the settlement, a final verdict is still to be reached to close the case.