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Apple lobs pocket change to Proview, ending Chinese IPAD name row

$60m? Hardly worth opening our wallet to get it out

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Apple has forked out $60m to settle the row over the name IPAD with Chinese firm Proview Technology.

The fruity firm agreed to the sum to buy the name from Proview in mediation talks, the Higher People's Court of Guangdong said in a statement (translated by Google Translate).

"All parties involved have agreed on the settlement. Proview and Apple now no longer have a dispute over the iPad trademark," Xie Xianghui, a lawyer for Proview, told state news agency Xinhua.

Proview, a maker of computer screens and LED lights based in Shenzhen, had been trying to block sales of iPads on the Chinese mainland, claiming that although Apple had bought the trademark for the name in some countries, it didn't own the name in China.

Apple alleged that it had bought the international trademark, which gave it the name everywhere, including China.

Proview Shenzhen was declared bankrupt during the case, after it failed to recover from hits it took in the financial crisis.

The court's statement acknowledged that the firm was heavily in debt and the IPAD trademark was the most valuable thing it owned.

The dispute between the firms went to the Guangdong higher court after Proview won the case in a lower court in December last year.

Almost from the outset, Guangdong urged the firms to settle the row out of court, but reports had suggested there was a wide gap in the amount of money each side wanted to talk about.

Just to put the settlement figure in perspective, it's worth bearing in mind that Apple made a net profit of $13.06bn in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 alone, so $60m is not going to break the firm's piggy-bank.

The lawsuit's end frees Apple up to focus on pushing endless iterations of its fondleslabs on China's tech-savvy and fashion-conscious youth, bound to be worth the price it paid and a whole lot more.

Apple had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication. ®

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