Apple Puts iPad Naming Quarrel to Rest for $60M
Today in international tech news: Apple ponies up $60 million to end the battle over naming rights for the iPad in mainland China. Also: France contemplates extending its television license fees -- which are like taxes for owning a TV -- to computers, while Sunday's Spain-Italy match sets the record for sports-related tweets.
Apple paid US$60 million to settle an ongoing legal spat with Shenzhen Proview Technology, according to the Associated Press .
At issue were naming rights for Apple's iPad. Proview sued Apple in February, claiming that while Apple had indeed bought the term "iPad" from Proview, the deal did not cover mainland China.
In April, Yan Xiaohong, China's deputy of the National Copyright Administration, said that Beijing regarded Proview as the owner of the iPad trademark in China, even though the patent dispute was seen as a potential roadblock to attracting foreign investment.
However, this out-of-court settlement should allay the copyright dispute and allow Apple to pursue sales of its tablet in China, which is the company's second-biggest market after the U.S.
Proview, which reportedly registered the iPad trademark in China in 2001, had initially sought $400 million, but a company lawyer said that the $60 million figure was acceptable, according to the AP.
France Could Extend License Fees to Computers
France is considering extending television license fees -- which are akin to a tax for owning a television -- to computer owners, according to The Guardian.
The move is designed to boost revenue for public broadcasting, which in France and numerous other European countries is subsidized by compulsory fees for anyone who owns a television.
The current license fee in mainland France is 125 euros, or roughly $155, and goes toward financing public TV and radio programming.
More than 11 million French watch television programs on computers, smartphones or tablets, up more than 40 percent from 2011,according to a March survey from Global TV.
Europe to Lift Clouds
A European Commission panel is expected to declare cloud computing legal under European privacy laws, according to The New York Times.
The panel is also expected to recommend that large organizations and companies self-monitor their data to ensure that sensitive information in remote places is safe, according to the article.
The ruling, which is expected to be part of a series of guidelines regarding cloud computing, could ease European anxiety about data protection. This, according to The Times, could set the stage for greater implementation of remote-computing services already common in the U.S.
Cloud revenues in Europe are at least two years behind the U.S., according to Gartner figures cited by the Times. The U.S. accounts for $17.4 billion of the $28 billion worldwide cloud sales, but sellers of cloud services hope that the guidelines will improve their image in continental Europe, which has been generally more wary about online and computer privacy than the U.S.
Sunday's European Championship final between Spain and Italy set the Twitter record for sports-related tweets, according to a blog post from Twitter.
The climax of the tweeting action came in the game's waning moments, after Spain put in its fourth and final goal en route to a 4-0 victory and its second straight Euro Cup. All told, the match inspired 16.5 million tweets -- 15,358-per second at the time of the fourth goal.
The Next Web also had an article about the new record, reporting that the all-time tweeting record -- sports-related or otherwise -- is 25,088 tweets per second, set last December when the anime movie "Castle in the Sky" was broadcast in Japan.