Apple will pay a Chinese company $60 million to settle a dispute over the ownership of the name iPad, which will likely remove the hurdle to sales of the tablet computer in the Chinese market.
Even though Apple had legally purchased global rights to the iPad name from Shenzhen Proview Technology in 2009, the Chinese government says the rights in China were never transferred, according to the Associated Press.
This bizarre and drawn-out legal battle is a perfect example on how China’s government is using ridiculous tactics to make a quick buck for a company that was practically on the verge of bankruptcy. Executives from Proview claimed they still owned the iPad name in China and requested the Chinese government shut down the sale of the tablet computer.
Why would Proview care that much? Because they have no money. They actually owe a substantial amount of money.
“Proview hoped for money but felt pressure to settle because it needs to pay debts, said a lawyer for the company, Xie Xianghui,” according to the AP. “He said the company had hoped for as much as $400 million and might still be declared bankrupt in a separate legal proceeding despite the infusion of settlement money.”
While $60 million is only a drop in the bucket for Apple and its estimated $110 billion cash reserve, it’s the principle of the fact that Apple went through all the right legal proceedings to acquire the iPad name. In return, the Chinese legal battle prevented Apple from selling even more of their tablet in China — the company’s second largest market behind the United States.
U.S. business mogul Donald Trump took to Twitter today to say that “China is getting away with murder.” Many other agreed.
“Victory for Thuggishness?” Bill Dodson (no relation to this writer) tweeted.
apple acquired the iPad name in China when it bought rights in many different countries from a Proview affiliate in Taiwan for about $55,000. Even if there is confusion in who acquired what, the Chinese government’s attitude in the whole situation is ludicrous at best.