Proview Technology is currently the “rightful” owner of the iPad trademark in China according to senior State officials in China, but that doesn’t mean that Apple and Proview couldn’t reach a settlement on the iPad naming trademark. According to court proceedings today, it’s sounding possible that Apple and Proview could make arrangements to settle the conflict outside of the court.
From a report on the situation by the Associated Press:
[quote]Actually Proview always expected to settle out of court from the beginning,” Ma said. “I don’t know if Apple has changed its attitude, but I believe that the key point now is the price. Chinese courts often try to mediate agreements out of court. But it is unclear whether Apple is open to that option. An Apple spokeswoman, Carolyn Wu, said the company had no new comment on the possibility of a settlement with Proview. In a statement, Apple reiterated its earlier insistence that it would never “knowingly abuse someone else’s trademarks.[/quote]
This battle over the iPad trademark in China has been ongoing in the country since February, and it’s been unclear up until this point who may actually hold the trademark for iPad in China. At one point both Proview and Apple were going back and forth about Proview’s alledged sale of the iPad trademark to Apple years ago; however, Proview disagrees with Apple’s view that a final sale was concluded and believes that it still owns the right to iPad in China.
At this point it’s pretty obvious that Proview would prefer a monetary settlement outside of the court system, and Apple would prefer the court case to proceed. In the case of Proview, the cash strapped company could obviously gain a tremendous amount of financial relief from Apple purchasing the iPad trademark outside of court.
That said, Carolyn Wu’s assertion that Apple would never “knowingly abuse someone else’s trademark” is laughable to anyone who follows Apple at all. Apple announced the iPhone, despite Cisco’s ownership of a trademark for the term iPhone. Hell, Apple’s own website has a press release on the situation. Obviously this isn’t the first time Apple’s released a product without fully owning a trademark. History shows pretty clearly that Apple has done it in the past.
As always, we’ll keep an eye on this as it plays out.
Image Credit: snapshotaesthetic