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Apple pays $60M to settle iPad dispute in China

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by Athlon2K15, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. Athlon2K15

    Athlon2K15 HyperVtXâ„¢

    Sep 27, 2006
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    And just like that, it was over (with a little help from a $60 million payment).

    A Chinese court announced Monday that Apple has paid that amount to settle a protracted legal battle with Shenzhen Proview Technology over who owns the iPad name, ending a lawsuit that threatened to block the sale of the popular tablets in the huge Chinese market.

    "The iPad dispute resolution is ended," the Guangdong High People's Court said in a statement. "Apple Inc. has transferred $60 million to the account of the Guangdong High Court as requested in the mediation letter."

    The lawsuit had hampered some sales and delayed the launch of the new iPad in China. Prior to the launch, Proview requested Chinese authorities in scores of Chinese cities to order re-sellers to take all iPads off their shelves.

    The court-mediated settlement, announced on the website of the Higher People's Court of Guangdong province, will allow Apple to get on with selling its popular tablet PC in one of its most important markets, analysts said.

    "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.

    Apple and Proview Technology (Shenzhen), a unit of Hong Kong-listed Proview International Holdings Ltd, have been negotiating to reach a settlement since the court conducted an initial hearing in February, after Apple appealed a lower court ruling against it.

    Apple had said it bought ownership of the iPad trademark in various countries from Proview, once a global monitor maker, but the Chinese company argued the U.S. firm dealt with only one unit of Proview. A Chinese court ruled that Proview Technology (Shenzhen) owned the name in China. Proview, which registered the iPad trademark in China in 2001, tried in May to sue Apple in the United States, but that case was thrown out.

    An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on Monday.

    The iPad dominates China's tablet PC market with more than 70 percent market share, though Lenovo Group Ltd's Lepads and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's Galaxy Tabs have been gaining traction.

    Apple is experiencing heady growth in Greater China - China, Hong Kong and Taiwan - with second-quarter sales in the region increasing several-fold to $7.9 billion. From the launch of the iPad in the third quarter of 2010 to March this year, Apple shipped more than 6 million iPads to mainland China, according to IDC.

    For Proview - which local media had said was seeking as much as 10 billion yuan ($1.57 billion) from Apple - and its creditors, the settlement should be welcomed, some lawyers said.

    The $60 million will be paid into a court-designated account and used to pay Proview's creditors, said a source familiar with the situation. In March, Taiwan's Fubon Insurance, one of several Proview creditors and a unit of Fubon Financial Holding Co Ltd, applied for bankruptcy proceedings against Proview because of $8.68 million in outstanding debt.

    "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.

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  2. lilhasselhoffer

    Apr 2, 2011
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    60 million for all the crap associated with this to just vanish, I bet Apple was happy.

    Beyond using is third party blind to purchase the naming rights (not illegal, but very unethical), Apple has been less than the best of corporations for China (again, historically).

    I hope that the settlement remains, so Apple can flood the market. This may be counter-intuitive, given my hate for Apple, but the end goal is clear. Flood the market, have someone else move in with a, necessarily, better product in a few months to compete. Apple cannot compete, given the only great part about their products is the UI and reliability. In a year and a half we see the Apple tidal wave recede, and something better struggle its way to relevance.

    Hopefully Google can get their offering sorted out, and we can finally see Apple actually have to (*gasp*) compete in an open market.

    Here's to Apple's competitors finally getting it right. Hopefully.
  3. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

    Nov 13, 2006
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    whose pockets were greased?
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