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Apple to fork over £38m in iPad trademark row

Apple will pay a Chinese firm a whopping $60m in a settlement over the 'iPad' name.

Apple has agreed to dig deep, forking over an eye-watering $60m (about £38m) to Chinese firm Proview in a row over the 'iPad' name, the BBC reports.

Proview insisted it owned the right to use the four-letter moniker in China, having registered it 12 years ago, and sued Apple accordingly. The iPhone maker stubbornly said it had acquired worldwide rights to the iPad name in 2009, having bought the name from Proview's Taiwanese affiliate.

Proview reckons its affiliate had no right to sell the rights, however. In a California lawsuit, the company's lawyers also claimed that Apple deceived it when it purchased the name, hiding behind a front company it had created called IP Application Development (IPAD for short).

Now an agreement has been reached in a Chinese court, with Apple agreeing to settle the dispute using a truckload of cash. "Apple Inc has transferred $60m to the account of the Guangdong High Court as requested in the mediation letter," the court stated.

That's a huge amount of moolah, but small change for Apple, which earlier this year squatted atop a $100bn cash reserve. In the last 14 weeks of 2011 alone, Apple made a monstrous $13.06bn profit, thanks to strong sales of its iPhone and iPad.

China isn't the only place where the iPad name is causing a stir -- I'll confess to being a bit confused by the latest version's 'new iPad' nickname, which is more than a little flummoxing considering the iPad 2 is still on sale, and will certainly bake noodles next year when the California company reveals its new, new iPad.

What would you like to see in Apple's next tablet? By the time it comes out, will rival efforts like the Microsoft Surface and Google Nexus 7 have eaten into the company's monster profits? Bung a prediction into the comments, or on our Facebook wall.