Apple Reportedly Offers Proview $16 Million for iPad Trademark

Following a claim earlier this week that Apple had made its first settlement offer to Proview in the ongoing dispute over the "iPad" trademark in China, The Next Web now points to a report from Sina.com [Google translation] claiming that Apple's offer amounted to 100 million yuan, equivalent to $16 million.

proview logo
That marks a substantial increase over the $55,000 purchase price in the original deal between Proview's Taiwanese arm and a dummy corporation set by Apple to acquire the trademark in a number of countries. Proview later claimed that the Chinese rights to the trademark were owned by its Chinese subsidiary and that the Taiwanese arm consequently could not have sold them to Apple.

Proview has been seeking as much as $2 billion in its lawsuits against Apple over the trademark, but today's report notes that Proview has gone bankrupt with $400 million owed to its creditors, speculating that that amount would be the minimum it the company would accept from Apple. It seems extremely unlikely that Apple would increase its offer to that level, and so it remains to be seen how the talks and court case will play out.

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Top Rated Comments

CylonGlitch Avatar
157 months ago
So it's ok for a company to violate trademarks in your opinion?

Nick, if you read all of the documentation on the court case, you'll quickly see that it is not really about trademark violation but did Proview lie about what they were doing. There is a lot of shady stuff going on from the Proview side, and I couldn't find anything on the Apple side that looks "shady" besides using a shell company to buy the iPad name. And this really isn't my opinion either, if you read the ruling from the HK court, you'll see that they found that not only does Apple own the Trademarks that they legitimately purchased, but that Proview IS acting in a very deceptive manor and in a potentially criminal way.

Quick synopsys of what's going on :
[LIST=1]
* Apple Shell company wants to buy iPad trademark from Proview for the HK, Taiwan, and China markets.
* Apple contacts Proview-China and makes an offer that they initially accept.
* Proview-China says they don't own the rights to it, Proview-Taiwan does. (Email paper chain shows this)
* Apple makes arrangements with Proview-Taiwan for all three licenses, and gets them signed off by Proview-Taiwan by (I think the authorization was signed by the CEO or someone on the board of directors).
* Proview transfers rights to Apple . . . except for an issue with the bankruptcy court in China.
* Later Proview-China claims that Proview-Taiwan didn't have the rights to sell of the trademark.
* The person in Proview-Taiwan who authorized the sale of the Proview-China trademark ** IS ** the Proview-China CEO (he has multiple roles within the Proview organization).


That Last bullet point is the real kicker. The same guy who has the authority in two different divisions to sell the iPad trademarks, sells it from one division and then claims that HE shouldn't have sold it from the other.

Sorry, it's extortion at it's finest.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
surf2snow1 Avatar
157 months ago
That's $16 million too much.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
parish Avatar
157 months ago
Apple shouldn't pay this. They should just rename the iPad in China to iPaid (with the second 'I' in pale grey) :)

BTW, the main cause of the fall of the Roman Empire was that, lacking a 0 in their number system, they had no way to indicate the successful termination of their C programs :p
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rocketman Avatar
157 months ago
Apple is not a welfare state to save Proview from itself.

BTW it is Proview claiming there is a $16m offer on the table, not Apple.

Apple can go to the bankruptcy judge, point out the lawsuit has large fixed costs to persue and uncertain benefits if they even prevail which is unlikely given the existing rulings in Taiwan and California, and buy the asset of the trademark and lawsuit for $0.50 on the condition Apple does not seek legal costs from the bankrupt estate so what few actual assets that do exist go to the top of list secure creditors. The downside is there could be a ruling of fraud, priority payment of damages as a penalty, and the BK estate could be further diminished for valid secured creditors.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BornAgainApple Avatar
157 months ago
Give 'em an inch, they'll take a mile ;)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nagromme Avatar
157 months ago
Give 'em an inch, they'll take a mile ;)

Exactly. They’ll be back in six months saying “Apple KNEW they were paying us $16 mil for nothing, and they willfully kept using the iPad trademark anyway! Seize all iPads! We demand 25% of Apple profits as is our right! We created the iPAD name when we made our iMac clone and iPAD was the closest Apple-rip-off we could come up with! And once we have our 25%—make that 50%—then THIS time, we will honor our original deal. Simon says!”
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)