Apple has reportedly agreed to pay $60 million to Chinese company Proview for the rights to use the “iPad” name in China. The settlement is significantly larger than the $16 million offer Apple had been rumored to make.
Proview has been battling Apple in court over the use of the iPad name for quite some time. Apple bought perpetual rights to the name in 2009 via a shell company. After the iPad released, Proview sued for trademark infringement, claiming they had not realized they were selling the rights to Apple, and that the deal had not been properly authorized within Proview, rendering it invalid. After some early victories in Chinese courts, Proview attempted to bring its case to America, but it was tossed out of U.S. District Court.
Apple, meanwhile, accused Proview of trying to make Apple pay for the same thing twice. They claimed they had bought the rights fairly, and that Proview was just trying to squeeze extra money out of them. Proview, as it turns out, is significantly in debt. Though Apple offered a $16 million settlement back in May, Proview rejected it, demanding $400 million instead. That, incidentally, is the amount of money Proview needed to appease its creditors.
It's not clear yet when the deal between the two companies will be final. According to Reuters the deal was submitted to the Chinese provisional court that's hearing the case yesterday. Once the deal is officially in place, though, you can bet that it won't take Apple any time at all to start bombarding the world's largest tech market with iPads.