Apple and Proview in Settlement Talks over iPad Trademark in China
There have been few updates in the "iPad" trademark dispute between Apple and Proview over the past couple of months, but IDG News now reports that the two companies are engaged in settlement talks with an eye toward resolving the issue.
Ma Dongxiao, a lawyer representing the Chinese company Proview, said on Friday the talks were happening, but declined to offer details.
The legal dispute between Apple and Proview is still being deliberated by the Higher People's Court of Guangdong Province. But earlier this week, the court recommended that both Apple and Proview find a way to mediate the dispute, according to a court spokesman.
Apple claims that it used a dummy corporation to purchase the Chinese rights to the iPad trademark in late 2009 as part of a broad deal with Proview's Taiwanese arm covering several markets and carrying a $55,000 purchase price. But Proview has argued that the Chinese rights were controlled by its Chinese arm and that the Taiwanese unit had no ability to sell them to Apple, despite the fact that corporate officers common to both units were involved in the deal.
Proview has since filed several suits against Apple, with reports of damage claims ranging up to $2 billion. For its part, Apple has been playing up a Hong Kong court ruling that found Proview and its subsidiaries had conspired to extort millions of dollars from Apple once it was discovered that Apple was behind the trademark purchase. Chinese courts have, however, yet to rule on the issue.
It is unclear whether the new settlement talks between Apple and Proview are likely to be successful, with each side undoubtedly weighing their chances of winning in court as they decide how far to compromise in the talks.