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Apple settles China iPad trademark dispute with Proview for $60 million

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 
A Chinese court announced on Monday that Apple had reached an agreement with Proview to pay $60 million for the Chinese rights to the iPad trademark.

The Guangdong High People's Court declared an end to the dispute between the two companies after making public the news of the settlement, the Associated Press reported on Sunday.

Though Apple will have no trouble paying the $60 million, the figure is a significantly higher price tag than the $55,000 that the company claimed it paid for the trademark in 2009. For its part, Proview had argued that the Chinese trademark hadn't been included in a deal to transfer other international rights because legal representatives from its Shenzhen affiliate weren't present when the contract was signed.

Settlement negotiations began in April, according to a lawyer from Proview. In May, a Chinese newspaper suggested that Proview had turned down a $16 million settlement offer from Apple. At the time, reports suggested that officials at the company were seeking $400 million for the mark. Proview is rumored to owe as much as $400 million to its creditors, which include several prominent Chinese banks.

Proview
Derelict Proview factory with a sign roughly translated to "Do not enter."


One creditor, Fubon Insurance, has been particularly active in seeking to have the company declared bankrupt and liquidated. Proview was formerly a successful monitor maker, but it has fallen upon hard times.

With the legal dispute with Proview out of the way, Apple could be cleared to move forward with releasing its third-generation iPad in China. The new iPad first hit the market nearly three months ago. Chinese regulatory permits for Apple's latest tablet have steadily come in, but some pundits believe that the uncertainty of the Proview lawsuit has led to delays in bringing the device to the world's most populous nation.
post #2 of 71
Boo
post #3 of 71

Looks like pocket change to finally have a huge market open to them.

post #4 of 71

This is giving in to blackmail, but it seems the Chinese courts were going to let this drag out, and a quick settlement is worth a lot to Apple.

post #5 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by bighype View Post

Looks like pocket change to finally have a huge market open to them.

Yeah, I feel like they just sort of gave in to get it out of the way. Apple will make the $60 million back in profit in a few months from selling the iPad in China anyway. I have no doubt that Apple could have continued to pursue, and eventually win, the case, but there's nothing to gain from fighting an already bankrupt company. 

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post #6 of 71
That's a huge sum for a trademark they already paid for. I doubt things would have turned out as well had this taken place outside China. I wouldn't be surprised if Proview will get liquidated shortly with that $60M going straight to their creditors.

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post #7 of 71

That's a bargain.

 

Apple just surrended the average yearly income of two Apple stores to get the iPad trademark.

 

Now Proview can go get bankrupt, and Apple can move on to make just a smidge more than sixty million dollars in China in the foreseeable future.

 

Just a smidge.

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post #8 of 71

I bet Proview had their fingers crossed as they signed the deal.

post #9 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoanderson View Post

I bet Proview had their fingers crossed as they signed the deal.

 

 

I bet Apple did proper due diligence to be certain that they had the proper signatory this time around.

post #10 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

That's a bargain.

 

Apple just surrended the average yearly income of two Apple stores to get the iPad trademark.

 

Now Proview can go get bankrupt, and Apple can move on to make just a smidge more than sixty million dollars in China in the foreseeable future.

 

Just a smidge.

 

How much is a "smidge"?  By my reckoning, it's somewhat more than a billion US$, but less than a trillion lol.gif

post #11 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerrySwitched26 View Post

 

 

I bet Apple did proper due diligence to be certain that they had the proper signatory this time around.

 

You mean 'due diligence' as in inadequate disclosure to investors of material information with respect to the purchase of securities?

 

No, that probably didn't happen, seeing as this was the purchase of a trademark from a third party, and you seem to have confused it with a totally different situation entirely.

 

Please, Conrad, tell me you don't have a drivers licence. There are an awful lot of kids out playing by the side of the road these days...


Edited by GTR - 7/1/12 at 10:13pm
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post #12 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by NormM View Post

This is giving in to blackmail, but it seems the Chinese courts were going to let this drag out, and a quick settlement is worth a lot to Apple.

Their playing field, their ball, their rules. Apple threw enough meat into Proview's holding cell to encourage all of Proview's cellmates to go for the company's throat and devour it once and for all.

 

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post #13 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

That's a huge sum for a trademark they already paid for. I doubt things would have turned out as well had this taken place outside China. I wouldn't be surprised if Proview will get liquidated shortly with that $60M going straight to their creditors.

I just posted a similar comment on the USAToday site where this story appeared before AI.

 

Any other country and this dispute would not have been so gray. If you ask me, this trademark purchase contract should've been bound by its words no matter what.

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post #14 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post

 

How much is a "smidge"?  By my reckoning, it's somewhat more than a billion US$, but less than a trillion lol.gif

 

About a gazillion.

 

Or about two and a half quazmillion.

 

Rounded up.

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post #15 of 71

It's insane. I would give up the name. Chinese government raped Apple. lol.

post #16 of 71

So what's Proview going to do with all that money? Create crappy iPhone and iPad peripherals.

post #17 of 71

This amounts to a China Tax that Apple should add on to the product price in China times three.

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post #18 of 71
325
post #19 of 71

What happened to the $1.5 billion they were asking in the Chinese court? And remember the $2 billion suit they filed in the US that got thrown out?

 

$60 million might seem like a lot, but compared to $1.5 billion it's peanuts.

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post #20 of 71
Based on my calculations of using 11.8 million units sold last quarter, an ARP of $650 and a net profit of 10% it took 7 days to make $60 million in profit in just the iPad division last quarter. While that's a lot it's still a drop in the bucket for this product.
Edited by SolipsismX - 7/2/12 at 6:58am

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post #21 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by NormM View Post

This is giving in to blackmail, but it seems the Chinese courts were going to let this drag out, and a quick settlement is worth a lot to Apple.

It's Asia, particularly China. Some very bad things are happening in China. Unbreathable air, kids getting run over and no one helping, women getting molested on buses etc etc. "Developed" nation? China will never be one, not in the next 20 years anyway.
post #22 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

What happened to the $1.5 billion they were asking in the Chinese court? And remember the $2 billion suit they filed in the US that got thrown out?

$60 million might seem like a lot, but compared to $1.5 billion it's peanuts.

Well in Asia parlance this is called "test water". That is, as a business in Asia you try whatever the heck you can, regardless of reality. $1 billion? $10 billion? Even if you're happy to get $100,000, you make up all these wild numbers to buy at the lowest price possible and sell at the highest price possible.

Apple finally decided to swat this annoying fly, and it is sad for China and Asia because this demonstrates that if you are a business in Asia you can bribe, cheat, lie and steal your way to whatever you want. Anyone that has worked in Asia knows this. But karma's a bitch, $60 million ain't gonna save Proview. Cute little stunt from them but they are just digging a bigger hole. Good bloody luck to them. You reap what you sow.
post #23 of 71

proof that there is no justice in the chinese court system even with proof of the purchase of the trademarks.

post #24 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr2012 View Post

It's Asia, particularly China. Some very bad things are happening in China. Unbreathable air, kids getting run over and no one helping, women getting molested on buses etc etc. "Developed" nation? China will never be one, not in the next 20 years anyway.

You're sounding bigoted and xenophobic. There isn't a nation on this planet that doesn't have issues that other people won't be shocked by.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #25 of 71

I can only hope that Proview gets liquidated by its' creditors quickly, they deserve it as they are crooks!.

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post #26 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoanderson View Post

So what's Proview going to do with all that money? Create crappy iPhone and iPad peripherals.

Nothing, it is all going to their creditors.

In the end Apple probably just wanted to be done with this. Yes they were probably totally in the right that there was nothing illegal about using a proxy, that they were told all proper authority was there to make the sale etc. but it might have cost them this sum in legal fees to fight it and there was the risk of someone granting the export ban and really screwing them. All that is now done. A nice quarter of a million 16 gb wifi 'new' iPads and they will have their money back and they could probably do that Ina week in China alone.

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post #27 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

You're sounding bigoted and xenophobic. There isn't a nation on this planet that doesn't have issues that other people won't be shocked by.

As always, everyone assumes when I criticise China that I'm some pimply 18-year-old fat white kid in Middle America. And as always, I have to wave my credentials in the air... Born in Malaysia, half-Chinese, half-Indian, lived in KL, Singapore, 4 Australian cities, San Francisco. Read & Write English, Malay, basic Mandarin, can understand simple Cantonese.

I can haz criticize China now?

This political correctness nonsense has to end. Call a spade a spade. Proview are crooks and so is the corrupt political and legal framework in China. What's more disturbing (or not, I suppose) is that this is all par for the course in Asia.

I'm not asking anyone to walk out on the street and punch anyone of Chinese ethnicity.

There's some bad stuff going on in China and all of us, regardless of race or nationality, should be concerned. There's some bad stuff going on in Malaysia, but what I would like to highlight is that the saviour of the global economy, aka China, is not a pleasant place. Yes, any country has issues. But given the importance of China you really want to have a good look at it and see what's happening.

By 2050 China will have the largest economy. The largest consumption. The largest population. The largest military perhaps. The largest carbon emissions. A man/woman on the Moon and Mars even. And it already is one of the most polluted countries in the world, by 2050 it will probably have the highest level of pollution.

The things happening in China, good and bad, are at a scale that is beyond human imagination itself, and certainly will far surpass anything the USA has done. Just when the US overtook the British, this is the point in time when China overtakes the US.

Do people actually know that China has over 40 nuclear reactors? A big proportion under construction, but which country has 27 brand new nuclear plants under construction? Mmmm mmm the best part? Most of it is near the coast. Draw your own conclusions from that.

Time to can the niceness and look at the facts. Do you know for example that most rural migrants to cities do not qualify for basic healthcare and other services due to urban registration requirements? Maybe that's one of the things causing them to jump off factory roofs.

I can tell you even Malaysian Chinese are very wary of the "motherland". For example there's been waves of prostitutes from China coming to Malaysia under the guise of "student visas". And that's only the tip of the iceberg.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

Their playing field, their ball, their rules. Apple threw enough meat into Proview's holding cell to encourage all of Proview's cellmates to go for the company's throat and devour it once and for all.

"It's Dog eat dog, rat eat rat
Kroc style - Boom like that."
 
- "Boom, Like That" - Mark Knopfler

But, where will we draw the line? We are in China's holding cell. I understand Apple's motivations but this piece of meat has been fed to a pretty big Monster, not Proview.
Edited by sr2012 - 7/1/12 at 11:55pm
post #28 of 71
Maybe Proview will have enough money to fix those broken windows in that abandoned building.

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post #29 of 71
Why is this thread in Genius Bar?
post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr2012 View Post

Why is this thread in Genius Bar?

 

Because...everyone involved in this thread falls into that category. :D

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post #31 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr2012 View Post


As always, everyone assumes when I criticise China that I'm some pimply 18-year-old fat white kid in Middle America. And as always, I have to wave my credentials in the air... Born in Malaysia, half-Chinese, half-Indian, lived in KL, Singapore, 4 Australian cities, San Francisco. Read & Write English, Malay, basic Mandarin, can understand simple Cantonese.
I can haz criticize China now?
This political correctness nonsense has to end. Call a spade a spade. Proview are crooks and so is the corrupt political and legal framework in China. What's more disturbing (or not, I suppose) is that this is all par for the course in Asia.
I'm not asking anyone to walk out on the street and punch anyone of Chinese ethnicity.
There's some bad stuff going on in China and all of us, regardless of race or nationality, should be concerned. There's some bad stuff going on in Malaysia, but what I would like to highlight is that the saviour of the global economy, aka China, is not a pleasant place. Yes, any country has issues. But given the importance of China you really want to have a good look at it and see what's happening.
By 2050 China will have the largest economy. The largest consumption. The largest population. The largest military perhaps. The largest carbon emissions. A man/woman on the Moon and Mars even. And it already is one of the most polluted countries in the world, by 2050 it will probably have the highest level of pollution.
The things happening in China, good and bad, are at a scale that is beyond human imagination itself, and certainly will far surpass anything the USA has done. Just when the US overtook the British, this is the point in time when China overtakes the US.
Do people actually know that China has over 40 nuclear reactors? A big proportion under construction, but which country has 27 brand new nuclear plants under construction? Mmmm mmm the best part? Most of it is near the coast. Draw your own conclusions from that.
Time to can the niceness and look at the facts. Do you know for example that most rural migrants to cities do not qualify for basic healthcare and other services due to urban registration requirements? Maybe that's one of the things causing them to jump off factory roofs.
I can tell you even Malaysian Chinese are very wary of the "motherland". For example there's been waves of prostitutes from China coming to Malaysia under the guise of "student visas". And that's only the tip of the iceberg.
But, where will we draw the line? We are in China's holding cell. I understand Apple's motivations but this piece of meat has been fed to a pretty big Monster, not Proview.

Interesting that you have never actually been to China.  Not quite as backwards as you make it out to be.  All of your shocking headlines can find very similar stories right here in the US.  The air in Beijing is a touch worse than the LA, but not so much that you would notice on most days.  Did you know the United States has a whole hell of a lot more than 40 nuclear reactors and a whole lot more than 27 currently under construction. The US is 1/3 the size of China.  Hell we stick them in ships and float them all over the world.

 

Fun with statistics! (Or in your case really anecdotes).  Did you know 10% of the population of the United States does not have access to basic healthcare! OMG! The problems you describe exist in most of the world.  Yes China is important now and will be more so in the future.  China has a lot of issues, but you are ignoring the big ones and focusing on the silly ones.  You claim to have insider special knowledge but most of your anecdotes come from the US news.  I spent a month in China this year.  Did you? Instead of stereotyping all of the people in the country, it might be better to look at the government that is causing it.

 

Why you decided to go on this rant (again) in this thread is a bit confusing.  What is the point.  Should Apple not sell iPads in China?

post #32 of 71

That came across as a rant.

 

Perhaps you should be a little more specific in your explanations and less emotional. Yes, China has problems which are very real and others which are perceived because practises are different.

 

Rather than scaremongering, complaining and firing off gross generalities why not either discuss the topic or perhaps offer some suggestions of how you have actually or could potentially help in solving some of those problems or bridging the gap of misunderstanding.

 

 

Quote:
As always, everyone assumes when I criticise China that I'm some pimply 18-year-old fat white kid in Middle America. And as always, I have to wave my credentials in the air... Born in Malaysia, half-Chinese, half-Indian, lived in KL, Singapore, 4 Australian cities, San Francisco. Read & Write English, Malay, basic Mandarin, can understand simple Cantonese.

I can haz criticize China now?

This political correctness nonsense has to end. Call a spade a spade. Proview are crooks and so is the corrupt political and legal framework in China. What's more disturbing (or not, I suppose) is that this is all par for the course in Asia.

I'm not asking anyone to walk out on the street and punch anyone of Chinese ethnicity.

There's some bad stuff going on in China and all of us, regardless of race or nationality, should be concerned. There's some bad stuff going on in Malaysia, but what I would like to highlight is that the saviour of the global economy, aka China, is not a pleasant place. Yes, any country has issues. But given the importance of China you really want to have a good look at it and see what's happening.

By 2050 China will have the largest economy. The largest consumption. The largest population. The largest military perhaps. The largest carbon emissions. A man/woman on the Moon and Mars even. And it already is one of the most polluted countries in the world, by 2050 it will probably have the highest level of pollution.

The things happening in China, good and bad, are at a scale that is beyond human imagination itself, and certainly will far surpass anything the USA has done. Just when the US overtook the British, this is the point in time when China overtakes the US.

Do people actually know that China has over 40 nuclear reactors? A big proportion under construction, but which country has 27 brand new nuclear plants under construction? Mmmm mmm the best part? Most of it is near the coast. Draw your own conclusions from that.

Time to can the niceness and look at the facts. Do you know for example that most rural migrants to cities do not qualify for basic healthcare and other services due to urban registration requirements? Maybe that's one of the things causing them to jump off factory roofs.

I can tell you even Malaysian Chinese are very wary of the "motherland". For example there's been waves of prostitutes from China coming to Malaysia under the guise of "student visas". And that's only the tip of the iceberg.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

Their playing field, their ball, their rules. Apple threw enough meat into Proview's holding cell to encourage all of Proview's cellmates to go for the company's throat and devour it once and for all.

"It's Dog eat dog, rat eat rat
Kroc style - Boom like that."
 
- "Boom, Like That" - Mark Knopfler

But, where will we draw the line? We are in China's holding cell. I understand Apple's motivations but this piece of meat has been fed to a pretty big Monster, not Proview.
Edited by sr2012 - Today at 3:55 pm

 

 

post #33 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

Interesting that you have never actually been to China.  Not quite as backwards as you make it out to be.  

 

Oh but I have! It's a shocking place. Of the 40 countries I have visited, it is the only place I would never go back to. 

I have been to some shit holes in the world, but China is in a league of it's own. Depressing, repressing, ominous, perhaps even 'apocalyptic' best describe the place. 

Watch out world, say goodbye to the good ole days!

 

PS: I don't have issues with the common chinese citizen, for the most part they were very pleasant. It was the government, and the way they treated their citizens that I found unpleasant.


Edited by monstrosity - 7/2/12 at 12:58am
post #34 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr2012 View Post

[RANT]

Yeah, but, has anyone had their face eaten off?
post #35 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Oh but I have! It's a shocking place. Of the 40 countries I have visited, it is the only place I would never go back to. 
I have been to some shit holes in the world, but China is in a league of it's own. Depressing, repressing, ominous, perhaps even 'apocalyptic' best describe the place. 
Watch out world, say goodbye to the good ole days!

PS: I don't have issues with the common chinese citizen, for the most part they were very pleasant. It was the government, and the way they treated their citizens that I found unpleasant.

Yeah, I mean, here in the US TSA is like an old neighbor.

...well, if your neighbor was a paranoid, tyrannical fascist that frequently molested you and everyone you know.
post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post


Yeah, I mean, here in the US TSA is like an old neighbor.
...well, if your neighbor was a paranoid, tyrannical fascist that frequently molested you and everyone you know.

Oh you think that kind of thing is bad?! You are in for a (sarcastic) treat.

post #37 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

What happened to the $1.5 billion they were asking in the Chinese court? And remember the $2 billion suit they filed in the US that got thrown out?

 

$60 million might seem like a lot, but compared to $1.5 billion it's peanuts.

While about $60 million was the direct debt of the company, the Proview owner and his #1 son were personally responsible for about half of the $1.5 billion owed. It looks like he got totally thrown under the bus with this settlement. He and generations of his descendents will be planting rice in some backward province for a long time. Besides the loss of wealth, he has now lost face, influence and power. The one upside for his is that he will be so far from electricity, uncontaminated drinking water and indoor plumbing that he may never live to hear the iPad ever spoken again.

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post #38 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

 

Oh but I have! It's a shocking place. Of the 40 countries I have visited, it is the only place I would never go back to. 

I have been to some shit holes in the world, but China is in a league of it's own. Depressing, repressing, ominous, perhaps even 'apocalyptic' best describe the place. 

Watch out world, say goodbye to the good ole days!

 

PS: I don't have issues with the common chinese citizen, for the most part they were very pleasant. It was the government, and the way they treated their citizens that I found unpleasant.

I haven't been to mainland China, but my significant research on China is in agreement with what you say.

 

However I'm glad Apple finally settled this, they resisted well enough and IMO got a good deal from those CROOKS.

Actually I feel the amount Apple initially paid was a bit low.

iPad sales in China will quickly make up the scam amount paid.

post #39 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Maybe Proview will have enough money to fix those broken windows in that abandoned building.

Those aren't broken windows, those are emergency exits for C-level management.

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post #40 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr2012 View Post

Time to can the niceness and look at the facts. Do you know for example that most rural migrants to cities do not qualify for basic healthcare and other services due to urban registration requirements? Maybe that's one of the things causing them to jump off factory roofs.
 

 

And here I thought it was all those super-hero movies they've been watching off of pirated DVDs.

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