Earlier this week, we reported about Apple and Chinese display maker Proview to be in talks regarding iPad trademark. The dispute between Proview and Apple over the iPad trademark may be nearing resolution.
The Guangdong High Court wants the two companies to reach a settlement over the dispute that started when Proview’s Taiwan subsidiary sold worldwide rights to the trademark to Apple in 2009.
The registration of the trademark was never transferred to China, and financially troubled Proview has been attempting to stop Apple from using the iPad name, in a bid to extort more money from Apple. Many courts also favored Proview, due to some perverted sense of patriotism. Ma Dongxiao, a lawyer for Proview, said:
“It is likely that we will settle out of court. The Guangdong High Court is helping to arrange it and the court also expects to do so. Actually Proview always expected to settle out of court from the beginning. I don’t know if Apple has changed its attitude, but I believe that the key point now is the price.”
Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu said that the company had no new comment about a possible settlement. Apple released a statement, mentioning that Proview “still owe a lot of people a lot of money, they are now unfairly trying to get more from Apple for a trademark we already paid for.” Apple has been struggling to retain the name in China due to some Anti-American policies that victimize American investors.
Despite the comments about a possible settlement, a senior official with the Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) said that “According to the … provisions of the China Trademark Law, currently Shenzhen Proview is the legal registrant of the iPad trademark.” He must be overdriven by jingoism.
The comments from Fu Shuangjian, a deputy director of SAIC, are the first that have been made from a government official about the case and could very well forecast the direction that the court may rule in favor of Proview. That would most likely mean an expensive settlement for Apple to retain the iPad name in China. Even if court rules against Proview, the possibility of Chinese Government to intervene in the matter (out of jingoism) to ensure Proview having the last laugh cannot be ruled out.