Unfortunately for Proview, a California Judge has now dismissed that case, agreeing with Apple’s argument that both parties had already agreed to settle their dispute in the Hong Kong courts. The judge found that Proview had not provided any evidence that the parties negotiations in Hong Kong were in some way biased against Proview, so they lacked grounds to sue Apple in the U.S.
Not surprisingly, Proview takes issue with this ruling, and their lawyer released a statement that said the decision “was not based on the merits of the case.” Proview’s statement indicated they have not yet given up on U.S. litigation, adding “We are looking forward to presenting the facts in the case to the appellate court, and we are confident that the facts will show that Apple fraudulently obtained the iPad trademarks.”
Meanwhile, both sides continue to work together in mediated negotiations with the Guangdong Higher Peoples Court, where Apple submitted a new settlement offer yesterday (presumably with a number significantly south of two billion). Given the importance of the Chinese market to Apple and other mobile device manufacturers, we can assume it’s only a matter of time (and leverage) until a deal gets done.