Apple is shedding the weight of at least one of its big lawsuits, by agreeing to pay $60 million to a Chinese company that said it rightfully held the trademark for the name iPad in China. Proview Technology’s lawsuit had delayed the launch of the new iPad in that country and may have messed with Apple’s sales there.
Before the launch, Proview had asked Chinese authorities in many cities to order re-sellers to take all iPads off their shelves, notes Reuters. Back in March, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook had visited China, in what many saw as an attempt to make nice with authorities there and pave the way for a positive outcome to the lawsuit. At that time, Proview said it wasn’t buying what Cook was selling.
“We firmly believe that no matter what effect Cook’s visit has on government relations, Apple’s intellectual property infringement has already reached a final verdict, and that the company must receive the ultimate punishment according to Chinese law,” wrote a Proview company executive in a blog post in March.
Apple had maintained it bought ownership of the iPad trademark in various countries from Proview, but the Chinese company said Apple only dealt with one unit. An earlier court ruling found that Proview did indeed own the name in China.
The settlement money will go directly into a court-designated account and used to pay Proview’s creditors, said one Reuters source.