Apple has agreed to pay $US60 million to settle a trademark dispute with Chinese manufacturer Proview Technology over the 'iPad' name.
With the trademark dispute out of the way, Apple can finally launch its latest popular tablet in China, its second largest market outside the United States. Last quarter, Apple’s revenue from China was $US7.9 billion, accounting for almost a fifth of the company’s total inflow.
The companies had undergone a mediation process in the High Court in Guangdong, China, to resolve the million-dollar trademark, which ProView registered in 2001, Shanghai Daily reported.
But the payout is significantly discounted from settlement demands initially made by debt-laden Proview, ranging from $US400 million to $3 billion.
Apple purchased the rights to use the iPad name from Proview’s Taiwan division in 2009 for $55,000 but the court found that the Chinese company's mainland operation had not transferred the trademark, and was entitled to compensation.
"The settlement is great news for Apple," said Teck-Zhung Wong, a Beijing-based analyst with technology research firm IDC.
"The new iPad has been so late to the China market that if they drag it any longer, Apple will stand to lose quite a bit more."
In February this year, Chinese authorities raided retailers and seized iPads in several cities, as Proview notified regulators around the country of trademark violations.
Proview also threatened to ask Chinese customs to stop the exportation of iPads, which are made in that country.
The case is expected to push up the cost of resolving other trademark disputes in China, legal sources said.
Whitegoods maker Haier has registered the iTV in mainland China, a moniker Apple is expected to use with the launch of its much-anticipated television product.
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