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Apple Settles China iPad Trademark Feud for $60M

By Andrew Lu on July 03, 2012 5:58 AM

After paying $60 million to a Chinese company, Apple is now free to use the iPad name and sell the popular tablet freely in China.

Apple had been hampered from selling its popular iPad in China because of a protracted legal dispute with Chinese company Proview over the iPad trademark in China, reports Reuters.

Proview had trademarked the name back in 2001, well before Apple came up with the iPad.

Apple was aware that Proview had rights to the trademark and Apple actually thought that it had already bought the iPad trademark from Proview, a monitor maker, reports Reuters. However, the Chinese company claimed that Apple dealt with only one unit of Proview and so the other units of Proview still owned the rights to the trademark "iPad."

So when Apple tried to introduce the iPad in China, they were met with legal resistance. In an action in a Chinese court, the court ruled in favor of Proview and said the company still owned the rights to the iPad trademark in China. Apple appealed that decision and has been working with Proview on a settlement ever since.

After months of haggling, the two sides finally came to an agreement, and Apple agreed to pay Proview $60 million for the iPad China trademark.

This case offers a good lesson to companies to be aware of trademark laws and rights abroad when offering products internationally. While Apple did do its due diligence and tried to buy the iPad name from Proview, Apple failed to check that the unit they were bargaining with had the power to sell all the rights to the iPad trademark in China.

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