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Apple Settles Trademark Suit Over iPad in China

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iPad by Sean MacEntee on Flickr

iPad by Sean MacEntee on Flickr

Apple has settled its ongoing trademark dispute with a Chinese company over the iPad trademark for $60 million, according to an Associated Press tweet.

Here at the LegalZoom blog, we talked about Apple’s legal troubles in China back in December:

The Shenzhen Municipal Intermediate People’s Court in southern China has denied Apple’s attempt to protect the name “iPad” by throwing out its lawsuit against Proview Technology based in Shenzhen.

In trying to protect the name “iPad” in China, Apple filed the lawsuit against the tech company alleging trademark infringement. Proview contends, however, that it registered “iPad” for use in several countries, including China, back in 2000.

At the heart of the dispute is Apple’s purchase of the “iPad” “global trademark” from IP Applications, a UK company, in 2010; IP Applications had purchased the trademark from Proview Electronics, a Taiwanese subsidiary, in 2009.

The court found that Apple’s trademark rights were purchased only through Proview’s subsidiary in Taiwan, and that the Shenzhen-based company was not a party to the agreement; therefore, the court ruled, the contract to transfer trademark rights of “iPad” to Apple was not binding on Proview’s Shenzhen company.

As we also noted at the time:

Proview just might be willing to make a deal considering it currently has debt of about 400 million yuan ($63 million). Moreover, Reuters notes that Caixin Online reported early this year that the tech company was suing Apple for 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) on a trademark infringement claim, and PCWorld reports this case is “set to go to trial.”

And a deal has apparently been made indeed–a $60 million one at that.

So far, Apple has not commented on the settlement, but if any more interesting details emerge regarding the settlement, we’ll let you know.

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July 6th, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Posted in Intellectual Property

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