Proview is a Chinese company who once upon a time held global rights to the “iPad” trademark. They sold said rights to Apple in 2009. When Apple released the iPad in 2010 and then proceeded to make money hand over fist, the Proview guys felt cheated, so they took Apple to court. The reason? Proview says Apple doesn’t have rights to the “iPad” trademark in China. In December the Chinese courts actually sided with Proview. That decision made Proview seek to have the iPad banned from the country that they call home. Long story short, everything is now fixed. Proview is $60 million richer, and Apple doesn’t have to put up with this bullshit anymore. To put that figure into some perspective, $60 million will buy you 120,000 iPads, assuming you go for the base $500 model. If Apple has to pay that to get out of legal trouble, then so be it.
The more important question here is how will this one off payment impact Apple’s relationship with China as a whole? Apple would love nothing more than to enter a country with a market that’s larger than the United States and Europe combined, but if they have to play by rules like this, stuffing money into the pocket of one company today, and another company tomorrow, will that make them change their mind? Doubtful, but you never know. Apple’s been trying to force the companies that make their hardware to improve working conditions and employee salaries. What’s not to say that those companies can’t just wake up one day and say that they’re tired of working on razor thing margins? Again, this is just early days, and it’s hard to look into the future after just one court case, but this legal battle is most certainly a sign of things to come.
[Via: The Verge]