While Apple almost escaped having to deal with their iPad trademark dispute in China, they ended up settling the case with Proview Technology for $60 million. Since that time, Apple has almost doubled their iPad sales in China, according to IDC.
According to Dickie Chang, an analyst with research firm IDC, shipments of Apple's iPad in the third quarter reached 2.07 million units, up from 1.15 million in the previous quarter, He attributed the shipment growth to Apple finally gaining ownership of the iPad trademark in China, which cleared the way for sales of the new product.
Settling the trademark dispute with Apple ended up saving Proview from bankruptcy while being highly profitable for Apple. While battling over IP rights is strategically important and in many cases vital to protecting years of research, development and profits, some analysts think that Apple's willingness to license their technology, as they did with HTC last week, is the path that they hope Apple will pursue going forward.
Is the Apple-HTC Deal a Sign of Things to Come?
In an interesting report that was posted by Reuters last night, they stated that "when Apple and HTC Corp ended their worldwide legal battles with a 10-year patent licensing agreement, they declined to answer a critical question: whether all of Apple's patents were covered by the deal.
It's an enormously important issue for the broader smartphone patent wars. If all the Apple patents are included – including the 'user experience' patents that the company has previously insisted it would not license - it could undermine the iPhone-makers efforts to permanently ban the sale of products that copy its technology.'
The report concludes by stating that "Apple's seeming shift away from Jobs-style war, and toward licensing, may also reflect a realization that injunctions have become harder to obtain for a variety of reasons.
Colleen Chien, a professor at Santa Clara Law in Silicon Valley, said an appellate ruling last month that tossed Apple's pretrial injunction against the Samsung Nexus phone raised the legal standard for everyone.
'The ability of technology companies to get injunctions on big products based on small inventions, unless the inventions drive consumer's demand, has been whittled away significantly,' Chien said."
If you have the time, the Reuters report is a good read.