Earlier this year, Apple was sued in China by Proview Technology International Holdings Ltd. and had their iPad tablet banned in different parts of the company due to a trademark conflict.
Apple claimed that they had bought the “iPad” name from an affiliate of Proview in 2009 for $55,000. Cupertino lost a lawsuit against Proview regarding this issue in 2010, which eventually resulted in Chinese authorities ordering distributors to have the Apple iPad taken off shelves.
Now we’ve received news that the whole issue has been laid to rest for a multi-million dollar settlement. Check out the details after the jump.
The news comes from a report by The Associated Press over at the The New York Times in which an announcement from Guangdong High People’s Court is discussed. “The iPad dispute resolution is ended [sic]”, says court, as Apple has agreed to pay Proview a cool $60 million to settle the dispute. As a matter of fact, the payment has already been transferred to the concerned account.
Proview originally sought up to $400 million for “lost sales”. Overly large settlement demands from lawsuits is something we’ve come to expect over the past few months and years, but Proview’s intention, it seems, was to get a large sum of money from Apple over the iPad name in order to lift themselves out of bankruptcy by paying off debts. The New York Times says that Proview “might still” be declared bankrupt despite the $60 million.
$60 million is a small amount for Apple to pay, considering both the sheer amount of extra cash the company has and the fact that China is Apple’s largest market after USA.
Apple is yet to release a statement regarding the settlement, but Proview’s lawyer states, “This is a result that is acceptable to both sides”.
Using litigation (particularly software patents) as a means for decreasing competition is a growing trend these days. Recent examples of this include Apple’s success at banning Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1, Microsoft taking software licensing fees* from Android manufacturers etc. etc.
*According to a report from back in mid-2011, Microsoft makes more money from Android than they do from their own mobile platform!