Apple has agreed to pay Shenzhen Proview Technology $60 million to secure the rights to the iPad name in China. The settlement may throw a financial lifeline to the near-bankrupt Proview, while it undoubtedly frees Apple to go full-speed into this important market.

“The iPad dispute resolution is ended,” the Guangdong High People’s Court said in a statement on its website. “Apple Inc. has transferred $60 million to the account of the Guangdong High Court as requested in the mediation letter.”

Proview had registered the iPad name in 2001. Apple paid 35,000 British pounds (nearly $55,000) to a Proview division in Taiwan for rights that it believed were worldwide, but in December the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court agreed with Shenzhen Proview that Apple had not acquired the rights for the Chinese mainland.

Related links:

Reuters – Apple pays $60 mln to settle China iPad trademark dispute

MarketWatch – Apple, Proview said to settle iPad fight for $60M

AP – China court: Apple pays $60M to settle iPad case

New York Times – Apple Settles an iPad Dispute in China

Bloomberg – Apple Pays $60 Million to End China IPad Dispute With Proview

Xinhua – Apple pays $60 mln for iPad trademark in China: court

Higher People’s Court of Guangdong – official site [Chinese]

Photo by Flickr user Eduardo Mariz, used under Creative Commons license