Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues to be hounded by patent cases. Some of those cases were begun by themselves, most notably the ongoing proceedings against Samsung, while others have been brought by companies looking to use Intellectual Property law to take a slice of the tech giant’s pie. The most famous of these cases is Proview’s lawsuit against the company. The firm, based in Taiwan, claims the right to the iPad trademark. Reports today suggest that Apple may have offfered the firm $16 million in order to use the trademark in China.
Just yesterday it became apparent that Proview’s lawsuit in the United States had failed after a judge threw it out. In China the law suit is still continuing and is keeping Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) from releasing its new iPad model in the country. China is hoped to be a huge market for the firm and the delay in the release of the product poses problems as the firm seeks growth in the market.
The Beijing Times today reported the news that the company had offered $16 million in order to use the trade mark in the country. The firm paid $55,000 for the international naming rights in 2009. Proview contends that original contract and that is the source of the ongoing dispute.
Proview International Holdings Limited (HKG:0334) is currently undergoing bankruptcy proceedings as it is burdened under debt of over $60 million. It is unclear what level of payment the firm would accept in order to settle the case and allow the Apple to continue selling its product without obstacle.
Apple’s willingness to pay the amount, though unconfirmed, points to a growing frustration with the proceedings. The offer may propel the ambitions of Proview further but it certainly gives hope to any who want to see the battle discontinued. Apple is willing to settle the case now and Proview may be willing to hear them out. The end may be in sight.
This leg of the patent wars may come to a close soon but its other battlegrounds seems far from finished. The case against Samsung was reduced in scope by both sides in the last week but there is no talk of settlement in that particular proceeding. Meanwhile Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Facebook remain at each other’s throats and many smaller companies have joined the fray, suing large companies with intellectual property they hold.
The patent wars are bad for business on all sides. A foreseeable end to the Proview case is at least a glimpse of an end to this period in the tech industries growth.
It appears that Proview have rejected the offer from Apple and are instead demanding payment of $400 million for the name. That is much less than the company was initially asking for, a reported $ billion, when the conflict began. The firm is clearly on its last legs in bankruptcy and sinking under massive debt. Apple, it seems, would be unlikely to pay such a large sum for the name as they are certain of their rights in the case. The settlement talks will continue but with such disparate expectations on either side of the table this may not be solved any time soon.