Apple settles Chinese iPad trademark fight

Apple settles Chinese iPad trademark fight

SHANGHAI - Agence France-Presse
Apple settles Chinese iPad trademark fight

A woman stands near an Apple billboard showing the iPad 2 in downtown Shanghai. REUTERS photo

US technology giant Apple has paid a Chinese firm $60 million to settle a long-running dispute over the iPad trademark in China, a court said yesterday.

The government body overseeing trademarks has been asked to immediately recognise Apple’s rights to the iPad name, the High Court of the southern province of Guangdong said on its website.

Apple last week paid $60 million to settle the dispute, according to the statement –well below the $400 million the Chinese firm had demanded.

“This means that the dispute between Apple and Shenzhen Proview over the rights to the iPad brand is resolved in a satisfactory manner,” the court statement said.

Both Proview Technology, based in the southern city of Shenzhen, and Apple had claimed ownership of the Chinese rights to the “iPad” trademark and were locked in a legal battle.

Proview’s Taiwanese affiliate registered “iPad” as a trademark in several countries including China as early as 2000 –years before Apple began selling its hugely successful tablet computer.

Apple subsequently bought the rights for the global trademark –including from the Taiwanese affiliate– but Proview said the deal did not include the rights for mainland China, and sued after the iPad was launched.

It is rare for a Chinese enterprise to accuse an overseas firm of trademark breaches –although foreign companies frequently complain of intellectual property rights violations in China.