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Apple, Proview battling over price to settle iPad trademark fight

The two companies seem willing to settle their iPad trademark dispute but remain far apart on a settlement price.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
Apple's iPad Apple

Apple wants to pay Proview to put an end to their iPad trademark fight. But the price tag remains a sticking point.

Apple has offered to pay Proview $16 million for the rights to the iPad name in China. But Proview is reportedly looking for a lot more, according to a report from Chinese site Sina.com (English translation) picked up from the Beijing Times. Citing a "source close to the negotiations," the Beijing Times said that Apple's offer was rejected by Proview earlier this week.

Struggling to stay afloat after filing for bankruptcy, the China-based monitor maker is in quick need of cash -- and lots of it.

Proview's creditors, several of which are Chinese banks, are banging at the door all trying to get their piece of the pie. Taiwan-based Fubon Insurance alone wants $8.68 million in outstanding debt and recently filed an application to have Proview's assets liquidated.

In total, Proview owes around $400 million to its creditors, though there seems to be confusion over whether that number is 400 million in U.S. dollars or 400 million in Chinese yuan ($64 million). The English translation of the Sina story points to $400 million in U.S. dollars, but other news reports have listed it as 400 million yuan.

CNET contacted Apple for clarification. We'll update the story when we get more information.

Whatever the amount is in debt, Proview is under pressure to ask far more from Apple than just $16 million.

The company had threatened Apple with a $2 billion lawsuit and eventually filed a different suit against Apple in the U.S. in February. That suit was thrown out of court earlier this week, with the judge ruling that any such case would need to be heard in Hong Kong.

Proview is now in a bind as it has to convince Apple to offer enough money to help pay off its creditors but can't wait too much longer to reach a settlement. However, Apple also is in a bind as it needs to close the books on this case so it can freely and clearly use the iPad name to market its popular tablet in China.