Apple Inc. has paid $60 million to Proview Technology (Shenzhen), a unit of Hong Kong-listed Proview International Holdings Ltd., to settle a dispute over iPad trademark. Proview Technology is a near-bankrupt Chinese firm.
“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.
Proview registered the iPad trademark in China in 2001. The two companies were in negotiations since February when the court conducted an initial hearing. The Chinese firm tried to sue Apple in May in the U.S. but the case was thrown out.
The amount will be paid by Apple into a court-designated account and used to pay Proview’s creditors.
“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.
At this time, iPad is on the top of China’s tablet PC market with more than 70% of shares. According to IDC, Apple Inc. has shipped more than 6 million iPads to mainland China from the launch of iPad in the Q3 of 2010 to March this year. However, Lenovo Group Ltd’s Lepads and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s Galaxy Tabs are getting new heights.