Apple pays Proview $60 million for Chinese iPad trade mark
Apple and Proview are to settle their dispute over the iPad trade mark in China for $60 million
Proview had originally sought $1.2 billion from the Californian company.
The Guangdong High People’s Court in Shenzhen announced that the two sides reached an agreement last week and that the mark is in the process of being transferred.
A company named IP Application Development initially bought from Proview what it believed to be the global rights to the iPad mark in 2006. IP Application Development assigned the mark to Apple, but when Apple tried to record the transfer, the China Trademark Office refused, on the grounds that it belonged to Proview.
Officials in China have already said that the mark is owned by Proview.
IP attorneys have been paying close attention to the case, saying that it raised a number of legal issues, including trade mark transfer, ostensible agency and contract law in China.
In an article published in Managing IP, Zhu Zhigang and Paul Ranjard of Wan Hui Da in Beijing said that for an assignee to receive a trade mark legally, there must be: (1) the signing of a contract, and (2) the approval of the contract by the Trademark Office and the publication of the assignment with the issuance of a new trade mark certificate.
An attorney for Proview told the Press Association that the financially troubled company had been looking for a settlement of about $400 million, but it felt pressure from its creditors.
“Proview owes Chinese banks 400 million”, said one attorney who spoke anonymously. “That means the banks are only going to get a fraction of what they are due.”
“It could have been a lot worse (for Apple),” he added.