Apple could be closer to resolving its legal troubles surrounding the iPad in China. On Friday, a report emerged that Apple and Proview Technology, the company that claims it owns the iPad trademark in China, have volunteered to meet outside of court to talk possible options. IDG News Service reports that the two companies have agreed to a mediation session while the court case is still ongoing.
Proview Technology is the Taiwanese company that wants to ban sales of the iPad in China. A manufacturer of flatscreens, Proview launched a tablet called IPAD in 2000 and registered the trademark. In 2006, Proview Electronics, which shares a parent company with Proview Technology, sold Apple the use of the IPAD name, but the companies are at odds over whether Apple is covered to sell the devices everywhere in the China market: Apple says yes, Proview says no.
Proview, notably, is also in some deep financial straits and has creditors looking to collect. It has offered to settle with Apple for $400 million.
The new iPad, meanwhile, is not available for sale yet in China, though older models remain on store shelves.
The stakes in this case are high. China is Apple’s second-most important market and a possible court ruling banning iPad sales in the country would be a significant crimp in the company’s international sales growth plans.