American consumer electronics giant Apple and Chinese tech company Proview may soon settle their fight with each other concerning the rights to the iPad trademark in China, a new development suggests.
According to The Associated Press, a court in China already began mediating between the two companies in their iPad trademark spat.
The information was revealed by Ma Dongxiao, a lawyer representing Proview.
“It is likely that we will settle out of court. The Guangdong High Court is helping to arrange it and the court also expects to do so,” Ma is quoted as saying by the AP.
“Actually Proview always expected to settle out of court from the beginning. I don’t know if Apple has changed its attitude, but I believe that the key point now is the price,” the lawyer added.
Nonetheless, if this matter is not settled by the two companies, the Guangdong High Court will issue a verdict for the case which can be appealed to China’s highest court.
Proview has sued Apple in China and in the U.S. over the iPad name. The Chinese company contends that it owns the iPad trademark in China and has thus initiated lawsuits which hope to get Apple to stop using the name in the territory or to pay for using it.
Apple bought the iPad name in 2005 from Proview but the Chinese company says that the sale did not cover the use of the name in China.
The iPad-maker has said in a previous statement that: “We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter. Our case is still pending in mainland China.”
Apple has also filed a lawsuit against Proview but was later met with a rejection by a court in Shenzhen, China after the court said that Proview registered the trademark as far back as 2000.
Proview has warned then that Apple may pay a $38 million fine for its use of the iPad trademark in China and even apologize for its actions.
This fine is apart from damages being sought by Proview from Apple which amount to billions of dollars.
The skirmish between the two companies has even resulted in authorities from the northern Chinese city of Shijiazhuang to impound iPads from stores in the area.
Nonetheless, Proview has also admitted in the past that it will much harder to get an import and export ban imposed country-wide with regards to its issue with Apple over the iPad name.
However, even though Proview admitted this, they also still warned consumer electronics distributors in China to refrain from offering the iPad to customers as their skirmish with Apple is still raging on.
The Proview and Apple iPad fight in China has become one if not most high-profile trademark infringement cases in China.