Apple Makes Settlement Offer in iPad Trademark Case, But 'Big Gap' Remains
Xinhua reports on comments from a Proview lawyer claiming that Apple has for the first time put forth a settlement offer in the dispute over the "iPad" trademark in China. The offer came as part of settlement talks suggested by the court overseeing the case.
"We feel that the attitude of Apple Inc. has changed. Although they expressed that they were willing to negotiate, they have never taken any action before. But now, they are having conversations with us, and we have begun to consult on the case," said [Proview attorney] Xie Xianghui in an interview with Xinhua on Sunday. [...]
Xie said the two sides have discussed a compensation package, and Apple Inc. has tabled an amount it thinks appropriate. But the Proview side has not agreed on a deal, and Xie would not disclose the amount of money offered by Apple Inc..
A settlement offer from Apple does not necessarily mean that the case is nearing a resolution, as Bloomberg notes that a "big gap" remains between Proview and Apple in their expectations of a settlement figure.
“The Guangdong Higher People’s court is trying to mediate this, and both parties are trying to negotiate and come to a settlement,” Xie said. “Right now, there is still a big gap between the two sides on the settlement amount.”
Apple contends that it purchased the Chinese rights to the iPad trademark from Proview's Taiwanese arm in a December 2009 deal encompassing rights in a number of countries 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.
Reports on Proview's damage claims have varied, but sources have indicated that the company has been seeking as much as $2 billion in compensation from Apple to turn over the iPad trademark in China.