July 2nd, 2012
09:50 AM GMT
Just days after Apple won favorable back-to-back U.S. court rulings in its legal battle against Korean electronics maker Samsung, the technology giant reached a monetary settlement on Monday to end a long-running legal dispute with a China-based electronics firm.
The Guangdong high court in southern China said that through mediation, Apple agreed to pay Proview US$60 million over ownership of the iPad name in China. In its lawsuit, Proview alleged that it still owned the China rights after its iPad trademark was acquired by the Cupertino, California, company in 2009.
The settlement ends a potential legal complication to selling the popular iPad tablets in China, the second biggest market of Apple products after the United States.
Last year, thanks to the high demand for iPhones and iPads, Apple’s China revenue reached US$12.5 billion, comprising 11.5% of its global revenue.
"All parties involved have agreed on the settlement. Proview and Apple now no longer have a dispute over the iPad trademark," said Xie Xianghui, a lawyer for Proview Shenzhen, in quotes carried by China's state-run Xinhua news agency.
Apple also enjoyed better luck in its ongoing legal battles with Samsung over patent infringements in the U.S. On Friday, San Jose judge Lucy Koh granted Apple’s preliminary injunction request to block the sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone. Three days earlier, Koh issued a similar ruling suspending sales of the Samsung tablet Galaxy Tab 10.1.
The South Korean electronics giant is appealing both injunctions.
Tech bloggers are warning about the repercussions of Apple’s favorable rulings. The prolonged court battle has "enabled Apple critics to get behind Samsung, arguing the former is being too aggressive in its use of patents to stand up to competitors,” wrote Jonny Evans, an Apple blogger at Computerworld.
“In other words, the legal drama has done little to help Apple because it has given its enemies a chance to gather behind Samsung’s flag,” he said.
Samsung has revealed that it’s been working with Google, whose Android platform is used in the Galaxy line, to fight against Apple’s legal offensive, the Korea Times reported.
Google is also said to be supporting HTC, a Taiwan smartphone maker and a major Android player, which is also embroiled in a court dispute with Apple.
Apple fired the opening salvo of the legal fight in April 2011, when it launched a lawsuit accusing the South Korean company for “slavishly” copying the interface and design of iPhone and iPad in Galaxy smartphones and tablets. Samsung countersued, saying Apple has infringed a number of its wireless patents.
The multiple lawsuits between the two have been heard in the courts in the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia.
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