may have bitten off more than it cares to chew when it purchased the iPad trademark from Taiwan's Proview Technology for a mere $55,000 back in 2006. There's now a dispute over whether Apple was granted permission to use the trademark in mainland China. Proview says that was never part of the deal, Apple says it was, and the former is suing the latter for 10 billion yuan in damages and an apology. That works out to about $1.6 billion, plus whatever an apology is worth.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal
, Proview chairman Yang Rongshan called Apple's iPad a "great product," but that doesn't excuse Apple allegedly infringing on his company's trademark.
"We've been negotiating with Apple. I can't tell you what the status is right now since this is a commercial secrete, but so far their attitude is still quite ambiguous," Yang said.
Apple may have thought this was going to be a legal slam dunk, but it's proven anything but an easy victory. The Cupertino company lost a countersuit against Proview in which Apple said it owns the rights to the iPad trademark. To make matters worse, the Global Times reports it was told by Proview's lawyer, Xie Xianghui, that Apple was going to fined 240 million yuan, or about $38 million, "but it was suspended after Apple's objections."