The world has been watching this seemingly bizarre lawsuit launched by Proview Technology against Apple. The bankrupt Hong-Kong based manufacturer of computer displays has maintained that they rightfully own the trademark to the iPad name and that Apple is in direct violation of that assertion. They have tried just about everything to get soemthing out of Apple’s considerable wallet, including an attempt to ban the import and export of iPad devices from China.
Lucky for them, Apple seems interested in making this go away.
The details of what has been discussed between the two companies are not yet known, but lawyer Ma Dongxiao confirmed on behalf of Proview that the talks were indeed taking place. In addition, an unidentified court spokesman noted that:
“The legal dispute between Apple and Proview is still being deliberated by the Higher People’s Court of Guangdong Province. But earlier this week, the court recommended that both Apple and Proview find a way to mediate the dispute.”
To date, Apple has maintained that they already paid a sum to Proview in order to retain the rights to use the iPad name in China. Proview counters by stating that what Apple has purchased is not applicable to all areas of the country, including Hong Kong. They are still willing to sell the rights for a measly USD $400 million, a bankroll that would go a long way toward getting Proview out of bankruptcy and on the road to recovery business-wise.
It isn’t clear whether Apple’s willingness to talk about a potential settlement is an admission of guilt or just the recognition that an international legal battle would be expensive and so it may be cheaper to throw a little money at them this way instead.
If no resolution can be achieved through this mediation process, the court will be made to rule on the matter. So far, Apple has refrained from comment on this new development.