With Apple said to be entering serious negotiations with Proview, looking to settle the lengthy legal battle over rights to the Chinese iPad trademark, Apple representatives are reported to have offered $16 million for the mark.
A report shared by Sina (via the Beijing Times) states that Apple offered 100 million yuan ($16 million) for rights to the mark in China but cash-strapped Proview would not agree terms. Proview is thought to be looking for at least $400 million in order to appease its creditors, eight of which are Chinese banks.
Note: Story updated to reflect 400 million dollars, not 400 million yuan ($63 million).
The report cites sources familiar with the negotiations between Apple and Proview.
Proview creditor Fubon Insurance has already moved to reclaim debts totalling $8.68 million, requesting that the company be put into liquidation.
Compensation totalling $400 million would be a long way off the $2 billion lawsuit the company filed in the US earlier this year (originally it asked for ‘millions’), although this was dismissed by US courts in the past week.
On Monday, we brought you news that Apple was condeding ground in its fight to secure the iPad trademark, after Proview lawyer Xie Xianghui told Chinese reporters that “the attitude of Apple [had] changed,” and that both parties had begun to discuss settlement figures.
The case has been ongoing since 2010, but it re-emerged this year after Apple contested a decision which stated that Proview was the legal holder of the ‘iPad’ trademark in China, despite Apple purchasing rights to it via a shell company.
Proview indicated its interest in settling with Apple as early as February 2012, the same month that company chairman Yang Rongshan warned Apple that it must “properly” compensate the company if it wished to gain legal ownership of the trademark.
The case was paused while troubled Proview staved off a liquidation request from one of its creditors at the beginning of the month. Since then, it looks as if the company has been hanging on to secure a cash payout from Apple to pay off its debts.
Apple launched its latest iPad tablet in March, expanding into other markets in the following month. However, the company has not yet launched the device in China, with it believed that Apple is waiting to end the trademark fight before it does.
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