Apple looking to settle with Proview in 'iPad' trademark dispute - report

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Attorneys for Proview claim that progress is being made in the company's ongoing trademark dispute with Apple over the "iPad" name, suggesting that the company now plans to settle out of court.

Xie Xianghui, an attorney that represents Proview in the city of Shenzhen, spoke with China's Xinhua this week, and claimed that the two sides have discussed a compensation package. Apple is even said to have gone as far as proposing a settlement sum that it believes would be fair, though Proview has not agreed to any deals.

"We feel the attitude of Apple Inc. has changed," Xie said. "Although they expressed they were willing to negotiate, they have never taken any actions before, but now they are having conversations with us, and we have begun to consult ont he case."

The attorney said he believes it would be beneficial for both Apple and Proview if a settlement were to be reached "as soon as possible" between the two parties. Monday's report included analysis from a Chinese intellectual property lawyer who said it's likely Proview would eventually win its lawsuit against Apple, but receiving compensation could take many years.

Xie has been talking up the prospect of a settlement for months, as the attorney said back in February that his company was ready to engage in talks with Apple. Another lawyer representing Proview said in April that it is "likely" that Proview will reach an out-of-court settlement with Apple.

Reports even surfaced weeks ago that Apple was already in talks with Proview to settle the ongoing iPad trademark dispute. However, since then there has been no indications of ongoing talks between the two companies.

Proview Shenzhen has asserted in legal filings, including one U.S. suit, that Apple acted "with oppression, fraud and/or malice," when it used a proxy company, U.K.-based IP Application Development, Ltd., to buy the rights to the "IPAD" name. Those rights were purchased from a Taiwanese affiliate in 2009 for a reported 35,000 British pounds, or $55,000.

Proview has argued that Apple acted fraudulently to acquire the iPad trademark, and that the purchase is void because Proview Shenzhen didn't authorize its affiliate to sell the trademark.

At its peak, Proview was the manufacturer of a stripped-down PC it called the Internet Personal Access Device, or iPAD. The company also found some success building monitors before the global financial crisis hit and pushed it into bankruptcy. Now, it's a near-dead company with its ownership of the "IPAD" name its only major asset.


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