I’m surprised Apple is being so cheap. $10m is peanuts. Any other big tech company would have paid up. PR is pretty important to Apple’s success, given that owning Apple products is about being perceived to be hipper than thou. Proview did trademark the iPad name way before Apple even had a product to sell. If Chinese consumers see Apple as having bullied a Chinese company into submission, a lot of unhappy history (including the burning of the imperial palace by Western troops) is going to be brought up. The Chinese are xenophobic to a fault. If Apple users in China start running the risk of being smacked around for being seen to use the product of a foreign company that screwed a Chinese one (i.e. being Chinese Benedict Arnolds), its brand name there will go up in ashes.
Perception is a funny thing - more often than not, it is flawed. In this case, the documentation is pretty clear that Apple did properly buy those rights from Proview. Apple didn’t deny the trademark - they bought the rights to use it. Isn’t that how the system (regardless of location) suppose to work?
China is riding high at the moment. They don't have to abide by anything. Although they are a member of the WTO what punishment is likely to be effective? Nothing! If they continue to prosper they will be able to sell only to their own and still prosper.
The lesson here is to the people moving manufacturing to China or those depending solely on China for supply. They will become naturally cautious about doing business with China and China will lose some of its stroke.
Russia and China have been living off stolen technology for years. They profit from natural resources and cheap labor. They survive because of the traitors in this country who give them our technology and who keep our business environment such that it is difficult to survive. Russia and China have no equivalent to labor unions, OSHA, EPA, graduated income taxes, a minimum wage, Departments of Energy, Commerce, Education, etc., with myriad restrictive regulations and media who are working against them. They have it easy and, yet, we are still stronger at this point. How long that will last is questionable.
Ok, 2 things.
1.) If you bought the rights, why pay extortion? You have a legal contract, you paid for a legal contract, you have made this product for years - but Proview waited until the 3rd iteration to say anything. Proview is facing bankrupcy, paying them will only encourage others to play this game. This game is called Extortion, and it will only get more expensive and more profitable for the 'bad guys' the longer you play it.
2) Where did you come up with $10M? The current demand is $2B (2,000 Million). That works out to approximately $500 Million per letter, but .. I digress.