Apple splashes the cash for iPad name
Apple has paid $60 million to Chinese firm Proview Technology to end a dispute over the iPad trademark in China.
The battle had seen the world’s most valuable technology company engaged in a protracted legal tussle with a near-bankrupt tech rival.
The lawsuit had hampered some sales and delayed the launch of the new iPad in China. Prior to the launch, Proview requested Chinese authorities in scores of Chinese cities to order re-sellers to take all iPads off their shelves.
The court-mediated settlement, announced on the website of the Higher People’s Court of Guangdong province, will allow Apple to get on with selling its popular tablet in one of its most important markets, analysts said.
“The settlement is great news for Apple,” said Teck-Zhung Wong, a Beijing-based analyst with technology research firm IDC.
“It just allows them to get on with business and stop being distracted. The new iPad has been so late to the China market that if they drag it any longer, Apple will stand to lose quite a bit more.”
The iPad dominates China’s tablet market with more than 70 per cent market share, though Lenovo’s Lepads and Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs have been gaining traction.
The $60 million will be paid into a court-designated account and used to pay Proview’s creditors, said a
source familiar with the situation.
“The settlement fee is not bad for Proview, because although Proview owns the trademark, it was Apple, not Proview, who created the brand’s value,” said Chen Jihong, a Beijing-based intellectual property rights lawyer at Zhong Lun Law Firm.