Apple pays Proview $60m for iPad trademark

Apple has settled its iPad trademark suit with Proview, agreeing to a $60m pay-out in order to use the iPad name for its tablet in China. "The iPad dispute resolution is ended," the Guangdong High People's Court confirmed in a statement. "Apple Inc. has transferred $60m to the account of the Guangdong High Court as requested in the mediation letter." Proview had argued that Apple's apparent purchase of the iPad trademark back in 2009 was not legally valid.

Apple had believed it was securing the naming rights when it dealt with a Taiwanese affiliate of Proview for around $55,000. However, Proview subsequently argued that the affiliate had no legal right to sell the name, and that its 2001 registration of the use of "iPad" in China still stood.

Skepticism around Proview's motivations was quick to surface, especially amid rumors that the company was facing bankruptcy and under significant pressure from its Chinese bank backers, among others, to extract as much money from Apple as possible. Proview's lawyer says that while "this is a result that is acceptable to both sides," the company had hoped for as much as $400m, and that it still faces the possibility of bankruptcy.

Apple is yet to comment publicly on the settlement, which according to Chinese statements was actually agreed on June 25. "As we all know that Apple has made iPad such a big name, I don't think that brand could do Proview a lot of good even if Proview won it" Proview's attorney said."

If you'll miss the constant, confusing axe hovering over Apple's branding, feel free to relive each step of the beautiful journey to $60m silence in the story timeline below.

[via Morning Whistle; via NYTimes; via WSJ]