Apple settles China iPad trademark dispute for $60 million

“Apple Inc has paid $60 million to Proview Technology (Shenzhen) to end a dispute over the iPad trademark in China that saw the world’s most valuable technology company engaged in a protracted legal tussle with a near-bankrupt Chinese firm,” Melanie Lee and Samuel Shen report for Reuters.

“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 PC in one of its most important markets, analysts said,” Lee and Shen report. “‘The settlement is great news for Apple. 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,’ said Teck-Zhung Wong, a Beijing-based analyst with technology research firm IDC.”

Lee and Shen report, “Apple had said it bought ownership of the iPad trademark in various countries from Proview, once a global monitor maker, but the Chinese company argued the U.S. firm dealt with only one unit of Proview. A Chinese court ruled that Proview Technology (Shenzhen) owned the name in China. Proview, which registered the iPad trademark in China in 2001, tried in May to sue Apple in the United States, but that case was thrown out. The iPad dominates China’s tablet PC market with more than 70 percent market share.”

“For Proview – which local media had said was seeking as much as 10 billion yuan ($1.57 billion) from Apple – and its creditors, the settlement should be welcomed, some lawyers said,” Lee and Shen report. “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.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Finally ended, the extortion saga has.

Related articles:
Chinese company holding the iPad trademark in trouble, faces liquidation threat – June 21, 2012
Apple wins bid to bar Proview evidence in Hong Kong iPad trademark trial – May 22, 2012
Apple offers Proview $16 million settlement for iPad trademark in China, says source – May 10, 2012
California Judge throws out Proview lawsuit against Apple over iPad trademark – May 8, 2012
Apple pushing for settlement in iPad trademark dispute, says Proview lawyer – May 7, 2012
Chinese court seeks to mediate iPad trademark dispute; settlement ‘likely’ says Proview lawyer – April 24, 2012
Apple in court-recommended talks with Chinese iPad trademark challenger Proview – April 20, 2012
Apple pressures Beijing with iPad snub – April 17, 2012
Apple CEO Tim Cook meets with Vice Premier of China; Proview says ‘political public relations campaign’ – March 28, 2012
Apple: Proview is lying about iPad trademark in China to stave off creditors – March 22, 2012
Major creditor seeks liquidation of Chinese iPad trademark challenger Proview – March 5, 2012
Proview lawyer hopes Apple makes contact for iPad trademark settlement – March 1, 2012
China higher court hears Apple’s iPad trademark appeal – February 29, 2012
Apple iPad trademark case in Shanghai suspended; Proview injunction rejected – February 24, 2012
Proview files lawsuit in California against Apple over iPad trademark – February 24, 2012
Chinese court says Apple can continue selling iPads in Shanghai – February 23, 2012

32 Comments

  1. I guess it’s cheap for the amount of business Apple does in China but it’s still a climb down.
    I would hope that the settlement included some concessions to Apple for the money, given the labyrinthian process for operating in their market.
    Wanna bet they don’t get the confiscated iPads back from local officials?

    1. Admission charge for the Chinese market. $60 mil is about 120,000 iPads or so. Really a drop in the bucket compared to the upside of that market.

  2. Good descipline Apple! If you made a mistake, correct it. You can’t steal other people’s properties just claiming it’s yours with a dot added to the script or design. Maybe Samsung and Google can Learn a lesson – acquire technologies and patents in proper manner and compete with real talents!

    1. Are you for fsucking for real? Apple paid for the name in good faith, but with not enough due diligence. These scammers are as underhanded as Chinese get. They purposely hijacked Apple, and won some cash – but make no mistake – Apple initially did do he right thing.

      1. Correct and if the iPad weren’t such a resounding success we never would have heard from Proview again. They took advantage of any loopholes in the agreement being the thieving bastards they are.

    2. I agree with Dijonaise but with one exception.

      Apple did due diligence. They bought the trademark from the OWNERS OUT OF (Shenzhen) but settled the matter in a Taiwan office of the company. The owner (Shenzhen) then said that it was the wrong office and that they still owned the trademark AFTER finding out it was Apple that bought the trademark.

      PURE Greed and corruption. And that is how you spell CHINA. Pure and simple. The country is run by corrupt power focused people at the top that allow toxins in babes milk and toothpaste. Just so sad.

        1. I’m sure that they will now.

          Apple purchased that trademark form the same freaking man that owns both company’s.

          Talk about corruption, Proviews owner is a poster child for it.

          1. Yes. I want to see justice done. If preview’s statements in court about not selling the trademark stand, then apple can use that to sue the parent company.

            If that court case fails, THEN there will be reason to rage.

  3. Apple had already paid!! They had to settle to avoid further complications. it is cheaper to pay $60 million than keeping fighting a legal battle while their product is banned from the stores

    1. Appl needed a clean slate to solidify and metastisize its unique and bombastically lucrative China market, no similar lesson here for all other would be extortionists.

      1. Funny. You abbreviate Apple as their symbol, then whip out your thesorus whilst completing your thought. The grammar police are duly unimpressed…

        1. actually of all the “big” words in Breeze’s post — solidify, metastasize, bombastic, lucrative — none are particularly obscure. Overly flowery, perhaps, but not so obscure that you’d need a thesaurus to come up with them…

  4. This is one of the sickest and shadiest bits of blackmail I can recall in business. Proview blatantly had NO rights to the iPad trademark. All that was proven here is that China remains a Criminal Nation.

    Apple, you want to continue doing business with that hell hole of thieves? I foresee incomprehensible Chinese criminality ahead. Not good. 😛

    Wake up China and join the world of honest business! Chinese biznizz scammery is not welcome. It’s called PARASITISM. Look it up.

    1. As long as the west demands cheap stuff forcing companies to order stuff made in Chinese factories, China has no incentive to force honest business (anyway they just copied Microsoft’s business ethics, and the US didn’t slap *them* down in the end, so…).

      The new Google Nexus Q, the direct competitor to AppleTV, is being built in the USA as a trial in US-based manufacturing/assembly (and PR stunt, of course). It is 3x as expensive. Can’t say for sure that its US production makes up 2/3 of the price, but it has very little extra above the AppleTV’s features so that’s the impression it gives.

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