Talks are underway to settle iPad trademark dispute in China

Apple is in talks with bankrupt display maker Proview of China over the iPad trademark dispute that has delayed the launch of the third-generation tablet in the 1.33 billion people market, a new report out today alleges.

The two parties have reportedly entered a voluntary mediation procedure that could lead to negotiations over a possible settlement.

If no deal is reached, the higher court will have to make a ruling and the severe consequences for Apple, should it loose the case, could include a hefty fine and a country-wide ban on iPad sales in China…

A lawyer involved in the case told IDG News Service that the talks are currently underway:

Ma Dongxiao, a lawyer representing the Chinese company Proview, said on Friday the talks were happening, but declined to offer details. The legal dispute between Apple and Proview is still being deliberated by the Higher People’s Court of Guangdong Province. But earlier this week, the court recommended that both Apple and Proview find a way to mediate the dispute, according to a court spokesman.

The article goes on to note that Chinese laws allow both parties to enter a voluntary mediation procedure to negotiate a possible settlement.

Proview sued Apple last year, claiming it holds the rights to use the iPad name in China.

Unless the two parties settle the matter between themselves, the court will have to make a ruling. Should Apple lose the case, the company could face large fines and see its popular tablet banned from China, its high-revenue market.

The third-generation iPad goes on sale today in twelve new countries and launches in nine more markets later this month. Conceivable, the device is not available in China yet.

CEO Tim Cook recently toured China and met with local politicians to talk “intellectual-property issues”, the move the embattled display maker dismissed as a “political public relations campaign”.

Despite the legal mess, Apple can continue to sell iPads in Shanghai.

Have you grown as tired as I have with this legal mess concerning the iPad moniker?