Apple Makes Settlement Offer in iPad Trademark Case, But 'Big Gap' Remains

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 7, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Xinhua reports on comments from a Proview lawyer claiming that Apple has for the first time put forth a settlement offer in the dispute over the "iPad" trademark in China. The offer came as part of settlement talks suggested by the court overseeing the case.

    A settlement offer from Apple does not necessarily mean that the case is nearing a resolution, as Bloomberg notes that a "big gap" remains between Proview and Apple in their expectations of a settlement figure.
    Apple contends that it purchased the Chinese rights to the iPad trademark from Proview's Taiwanese arm in a December 2009 deal encompassing rights in a number of countries and carrying a $55,000 purchase price. But Proview has argued that the Chinese rights were controlled by its Chinese arm and that the Taiwanese unit had no ability to sell them to Apple, despite the fact that corporate officers common to both units were involved in the deal.

    Reports on Proview's damage claims have varied, but sources have indicated that the company has been seeking as much as $2 billion in compensation from Apple to turn over the iPad trademark in China.

    Article Link: Apple Makes Settlement Offer in iPad Trademark Case, But 'Big Gap' Remains
  2. macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    They should just hand it over. Apple is the reason the trademark is popular anyhow. Without Apple actually making an "iPad" no one would even know what it was.
  3. macrumors 6502


    Jul 20, 2003
    I hope they have all the other vowel iterations locked in: iPed iPid and iPud
  4. macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    Just pay them the money and then raise the price of Macs and other devices in China to pay for it.
  5. macrumors regular


    Feb 8, 2011
    San Juan, PR
    Not in Apple's best interest to have conflicts in China..
  6. macrumors 603


    Independent of settlement talks or their outcome, Apple should swear a criminal complaint in Taiwan right now. The judge's order is itself probable cause.
  7. macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Apple ought to sue the Taiwanese arm for the value of the settlement for mis-selling them the rights in the first place, then. As essentially they've just given them fifty-five grand for nothing
  8. macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2012
    Not entirely true - there is no dispute over the WORLD rights to Proview that Apple bought, the issue was the CHINESE rights. For some reason, China is not considered part of the world ... by China.

    All the same - does anyone really believe this story? Nothing communicated by a Proview repersentative has been even remotely truthful so far. Suspect they are playing the media yet again to bolster their position in the court of public opinion so that they can claim Apple backed away from talks ... that were never scheduled, or that Apple coulnt reach an outcome ... for items that were never discussed.
  9. macrumors regular


    Jan 12, 2006
    New York, New York
    This is like saying, "We will sell you the car for $5k. The key to unlock the doors sold separately.. at $500k."
  10. macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    That doesn't discount the fact that they own the trademark.

    I'm not saying I agree with how things have gone down. But your "solution" in terms of logic is a bit silly to me
  11. macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2012
    Michael Corleone: Senator? You can have my answer now, if you like. My final offer is this: nothing. Not even the fee for the gaming license, which I would appreciate if you would put up personally.
  12. macrumors 65816

    Jan 26, 2010
    Hand it over, your not playing fair [ stamps feet ]

    If you had that trademark and realised you screwed up in selling it for 55K and thought there possibly might be loophole to get $2b what would you do?

    If I were apple. I'd say well We just won't
    a) Sell it in china.
    b) Look to move manufacturing.

    See how quickly the court settles it then.

    *Yes I realise this is just as nieve and stampsy feet.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2007
    Extortion, nothing more.

    Proview is defunct.

    All Chinese companies are Chinese government joint ventures with Taiwanese companies (don't, for a minute, believe the rhetoric). There is no difference here.

    It's the price of doing business in China.

    If you keep publicly publishing reports that you're cleaning up our working conditions and shaming us with negative publicity, we'll fine you via a dummy company.

    And the Western media toadie up to China, making a big deal out of an issue Apple has been quietly dealing with for years, so China can blame Apple !! It's great to see Murdoch et al getting on their knees for their new lords, China.
  14. macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    You left out:

    c) Base iPad becomes $8000
    d) Apple closes down.
  15. macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2006
    I would say $2Bil is excessive for two reasons. 1. Proview wasn't a success story, so they really did do anything to create a famous brand name from their marketing of the name iPad. Apple has spent more money and has had a lot more success in that area. 2. Buying a trademark under normal cirumstances should be a certain amount of money. $55K along with paying legal fees and court costs should be plenty. Remember, just because one company is in the process of going out of business because they weren't successful in the first place is just cause to gouge a wealthy successful company, just because they have the ability to pay $2Bil. Let's put it this way, if Apple only had $10 Mil in cash, the amount would be a lot less. Now, if Proview was a successful company that had world wide recognition for it, I can see charging a lot of money for it. But the fact is, that no one has really heard of Proview until this case became publicized and Apple is wealthy and successful with the branding. Yeah, Apple attorneys could have done a little more research in all of these other countries with regards to trademark names if that information is easily obtainable, but I don't know how easy it is to do a trademark search in every country. Personally, this is something, in this day and age, that anyone should be able to go to a Government Trademark site and perform a search on a name and within seconds come up with whether that name is already taken and who to contact in order to purchase the rights to use it. I think the owners of Proview are trying to raise a ton of money to cash out because they failed as business owners. Either way, is this worth $2 Bil? No. But between court costs and legal fees, I am sure a couple of million I think would be reasonable to cover everything.

    I don't know why they even have to go through the court system in the first place. They should have agreed to pay a REASONABLE settlement in the beginning. But you know how these corporate attorneys work. Admit no fault, even though they know there is fault, waste time, money to justify their existence. Most corporate attorneys I don't believe give the best business advice OR legal advice. It sounds like Apple's legal department screwed up and whatever they need to pay should come out of THEIR pockets because they didn't due enough due diligence, but unfortunately Tim Cook can't take it out of their pockets so easily, he can only fire those that didn't do their job in the first place.

    My question is why didn't Apple's attorneys spot this before they came out with the iPad in the first place? Don't they perform trademark and patent searches as they create a product?
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2011
    Not a bad idea imho. They would have to wait a bit though (see below).

    I bet they can draw out the case until Apple can afford to piss of China. If China wanted to keep their business, they should do the right thing by Apple. This is clearly extortion.
  17. macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Interesting. Sounds like you and others are suggesting that Apple "extort" China to settle this in their favor?
  18. macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2009
    So then explain why it took nearly 3 generations of the iPad for Proview to do something about this. If I was Proview and I saw this as a big deal, a red flag would have been raised at the release of the first iPad and it was not. They're after money plain and simple.
  19. macrumors 6502

    May 4, 2011
    Mumbai (India)
    Apple, Pay them

    Pay them, they deserve it, some $10,000-12,000. I guess that's more than enough for investing money for printing documents, photo session and advertising their product that never happened and never released.
  20. macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Do you know they didn't pursue it earlier? For a fact?

    And regardless - like I said - if they (still) own the trademark - then they shouldn't just hand it over BECAUSE Apple made the name famous.

    If I owned the name Coca-Cola and had it trademarked - whether or not I had a successful company - I wouldn't just "hand over" a trademark because someone comes in and makes it a household name.

    Again - I am not arguing on whether or not they still are entitled to the trademark based on the 55K payiment. I am saying that the OP who said that the company should just hand it over BECAUSE Apple made it "famous" is silly.


    Ignorance is bliss? Proview had monitors called iPad in China. A product that never happened? Did you actually read the article(s)?
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2011
    What's good for the goose must be good for the gander right?


    Maybe they had to bake a lot of cookies to raise the funding for the legal fees?
  22. macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2006
    But here is another thing to consider. if you look at the actual product, what does the Proview iPad look like? It looks like the freaking first revision iMac. Proview is out of line on asking for $2 Billion. I think you give Proview $2 Million for the use of the name and then charge $2 Million for infringing on the look of the iMac. Case closed. Have a nice day. Everyone goes home and has a cream soda.
  23. macrumors 6502


    May 11, 2002
    My response...

    Come up with a figure, say 10 million. "This is Plan A, we pay you 10 million, you get to pay off your debts, the you get a reputation as the ones that held our feet to the fire."

    "Plan B is we relaunch it in China as Apple Tablet, which we believe will cost us about xx dollars for the physical relabeling and advertising. You get no money, we inform your debtors that you passed up the chance for an easy 10 million, and that after they seize your company's assets will will pay them 10 million if and only if they take the steps to ensure that all of your management are blackballed from any other management position. But we hear Foxconn is hiring."

    "Plan A is withdrawn in three days."
  24. macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    First rule of negotiations. Set the $$ so there's room to go down. This is obvious. The company doesn't think for a second they'll GET 2B.
  25. macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2010
    don't negotiate with extortion terrorists...

    So, Proview goes from selling the Chinese iPad trademark rights to Apple for $55,000 to now seeking up to $2 billion in compensation for the TM rights?! Sorry, but that sounds way too excessive for any settlement amount ceiling limit. Both ProView and the Chinese government are super shady.

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