Apple settles iPad dispute in China for $60m
02 July 2012
Apple has agreed to pay $60m to Proview Technology (Shenzhen) in order to settle a trademark dispute over the iPad name in China.
The deal was reached with the main division of Hong Kong-listed technology group Proview International and follows a two-year dispute in which Proview Shenzhen has tried to block the sale of Apple’s iPad in China.
In February, Apple iPads were seized from retailers in the Northern China city of Shijiazhuang.
“The iPad dispute is over,” read the court’s statement. “The court decided that a settlement would be in the best interest of both parties. Proview Shenzhen is understood to have a lot of debt and have several hundred creditors and its major asset is the iPad trademark.”
The news comes just ahead of the anticipated launch of the iPad 3 in China, which was given approval by local regulators in March in spite of the ongoing lawsuit with Proview Shenzhen. An official launch date is yet to be announced.
Proview Shenzhen registered the iPad trademark in China back in 2001, nine years before the first Apple iPad was unveiled. Between 2000 and 2004, Proview’s Taiwan unit had registered the iPad trademark in the EU and six other markets, which it sold to Apple in 2009 for $54,800.
China is Apple’s largest market outside of the US. According to technology research firm IDC, Apple had 65% of the market share for tablet computers in the first quarter of 2012.
Apple owns five stores in mainland China with two in Beijing, three in Shanghai and has official resellers in other cities.
In December 2011, a Chinese court rejected complaints from Apple that Shenzhen Proview was using the iPad name illegally.
Jenni Baker, London