|The Apple iPad 2|
In the case of the iPad trademark issue, the opposing party in question was Proview Electronics – an ailing Chinese company that’s said to be on the verge of bankruptcy. They had apparently made an obscure computer of their own that they had called the IPAD. Little was heard from them when Apple started using the same name about 12 years later, with the launch of its bestselling tablet.
But then, Apple chose to expand in China. Their idea was to counter fakes, clones and illegal shipments of iPads in China, by launching an Apple Store in Shanghai and expanding their Chinese operations in general. That’s exactly when Proview sprung into action, and threatened Apple with a global lawsuit. They seemed to be looking for a $2.6 billion payout as well, which was rumored to be guided more by the company wanting to write off its $1+ billion debts.
Now, as it turns out, Apple and Proview have reportedly started settlement talks to resolve this issue after all. Macworld reports:
Ma Dongxiao, a lawyer representing the Chinese company Proview, said on Friday the talks were happening, but declined to offer details.The legal dispute between Apple and Proview is still being deliberated by the Higher People’s Court of Guangdong Province. But earlier this week, the court recommended that both Apple and Proview find a way to mediate the dispute, according to a court spokesman.
Chinese law allows two warring parties to go through a mediation process before a ruling is made. The idea is that if a settlement can be reached without the interference of the court, there isn’t any need for a ruling (that could be potentially damaging to either or both parties).
While the Cupertino giant and the Chinese company do seem to have stepped down their aggression a notch, there’s certainly no guarantee for these mediation talks to succeed. If they finally don’t, the Guangdong court will have to come up with a ruling soon after.