Apple settled for US$ 60 million legal IP claims from a Chinese firm against the usage of the name iPad. A fraction of the US$ 400 million the company asked, but took away a legal roadblock for the US company in China, says business analyst Shaun Rein in Fin24.
Analysts said the Chinese government wanted the matter resolved, wary of the damage a ruling against Apple could do for the foreign business climate in China.
It is rare for a Chinese enterprise to accuse an overseas firm of trademark breaches – although foreign companies frequently complain of intellectual property rights violations in China.
“It was clear the Chinese government would prefer a settlement,” said Shaun Rein, managing director for Shanghai-based China Market Research Group.
“For Apple, it’s a cheap settlement. For Proview, they just needed the cash.”
The legal battle did not halt sales of the iPad through Apple’s five retail stores in mainland China, its online store and many licensed dealers.
But, amid uncertainty over how the Chinese courts would rule, the row loomed as a potential huge roadblock for Apple if it lost.
Rein said the settlement should allow Apple to focus more clearly on China.
“Having these rights, they don’t have an excuse anymore to be slow in introducing the new iPad line into China,” Rein said, adding that although Apple products were wildly popular in China the company could still do much better.
Shaun Rein is the author about the recent book “The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends that Will Disrupt the World.” More about Shaun Rein and his book at Storify.