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American iPad defeats Chinese iPAD because it is no longer the year 2000

Posted by: Laurence Simons 03/07/12

Apple cough up $60 million in the process.

iPad. What do you think when you hear or read that word: eerie dudes in polo necks making hand gestures? Half-excited fanboys queuing up in Apple stores saying things like "app" and "lol"? Toddlers with sticky fingers making a mockery of years of technological revolution? Or: do you think of a clunky piece of Chinese technology from the year 2000, that looked a bit like an iMac and sold circa 10,000 units before sinking sadly into the sea?

If you went for Option B, a clunky piece of &c. &c., congratulations: you are about the only human alive who thought that. But that didn't stop a cheeky copyright dispute between Chinese company Proview and Apple company Apple breaking out in the east, which was this week finally settled to the tune of $60 million (or: £38 million)(or: 150,375 iPads)(or: twice what it took to develop and manufacturer every Proview iPAD ever made).

Basically, it went like this: Proview's Taiwanese affiliate sold the global rights to the iPad name to Apple for $55,000 (£35,000) back in 2009, so Apple, assuming 'China' was part of 'the globe', starting selling iPads there. No dice. The Chinese arm of the firm kicked up a fuss, and $60 million of litigation happened, and long story short: iPads in China again.

"The case is settled, both sides are satisfied with the agreement," said Proview lawyer Ma Dongxiao, showing the most cursory understanding of the concept of 'satisfaction' ever expressed outside a high court. But the case is key for Apple: despite their few-notches-above-entry-level price point, China is a burgeoning market for them, and breaking in with the iPad - despite the initial outlay of a messy court case - should be a lucrative move. Just ask some anonymous hedge fund analyst speaking to Forbes.

"There's clearly tons of potential here," said some anonymous hedge fund analyst, speaking to Forbes. "[The iPad] should be a proportionate opportunity to the iPhone." And Apple knows this: they've got everybody's favourite disembodied robot, Siri, brushing up on its Mandarin, and there will undoubtedly be demand for a legal team who can do the same as Apple China looks to expand.