Apple agrees to pay China company $60 million for iPad trademark

[JURIST] A Chinese court on Monday confirmed a settlement reached last week in the trademark case between Apple and Shenzhen Proview Technology [corporate websites]. The Guangdong Hich People's Court said that Apple has agreed to pay USD $60 million [NYT report] to Proview for the use of the iPad trademark in mainland China. Although Apple had paid $55,000 for the trademark in 2009 to the company's Taiwanese affiliate, Proview Taipei, the Chinese affiliate argued that Apple misled it by buying the name through a smaller company, IP Application Development. Moreover, the Chinese company had argued that the sale by the Taiwanese affiliate does not transfer Apple's right to Chinese mainland leading the Shenzhen company not to be bound by the 2009 agreement. In December of last year, a Shenzhen court ruled against Apple [Daily Mail report] noting that although the Taiwanese affiliate registered the trademark in various countries since 2000, the Shenzhen Proview had registered the name in China in 2001. The Chinese company, which is currently in financial difficulties, asked for more than the settled amount but ultimately agreed to it due to possible pressure by creditors and the court. With the settlement clearing the way for the Chinese market, Apple is planning to launch its iPad 3 in China, but a specific release date is not set yet.

Apple has been in the news recently as it faces lawsuits around the world. In June, Apple was fined [JURIST report] 2.25 million Australian dollars (USD $2.29 million) by an Australian federal court for its misleading marketing and advertising of iPad tablets. Two days earlier, Eastman Kodak [corporate website] filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against Apple alleging that the company is illegally using its patented technology that was developed when the two companies worked together in the 1990s. Earlier that month, a federal judge revived [JURIST report] a case against Motorola [corporate website] after he tentatively dismissed [JURIST report] it a week earlier. During the same month, another court ruled [JURIST report] that Apple has to defend itself against lawsuits filed by the company's customers under two California consumer protection laws. Judge Lucy Koh for the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] allowed plaintiffs to pursue claims that Apple caused them to overpay for their devices.

 

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