Following news late last month that Proview and Apple, both wary of continuing the protracted litigation over the use of the “iPad” trademark in China, had begun settlement negotiations, Apple has reportedly tabled a settlement offer to the failing Asian company, according to statements made to China’s government news service Xinhua by Proview attorney Xie Xianghui.
“We feel that the attitude of Apple Inc. has changed. Although they expressed that they were willing to negotiate, they have never taken any action before. But now, they are having conversations with us, and we have begun to consult on the case,” Mr. Xie said in an interview with Xinhua on Sunday.
Without disclosing further details, Mr. Xie claimed that Apple has tabled a settlement offer but that, thus far, Proview has not agreed to the deal.
The case dates back to Proview’s trademark in China of the term “IPAD” in 2000, long before Apple had envisioned its future product of the same name. In 2009, in preparation for the iPad’s launch the following year, Apple purchased the rights to the name from Proview via a third party company in Taiwan.
After the successful launch of the iPad, when Proview discovered that it had actually sold the rights to Apple, the company claimed that the deal did not cover trademark rights in mainland China.
Apple sued in 2010 but eventually lost the case in a late 2011 ruling. The Cupertino company appealed the case early this year, arguing that relevant documents and other information had been hidden or mischaracterized by Proview.
While the appeal is still underway in the Guangdong High Court, Apple’s initial loss, statements by Chinese government officials supporting Proview’s legal position, and Apple’s reluctance to sell the iPad in China until the dispute is resolved have likely encouraged Apple to seek a settlement, despite firmly believing that Proview cheated the company the first time around.
[via The Next Web]