Earlier this month Apple reportedly paid $60m to the Chinese company Proview to settle a legal dispute over use of the iPad trademark. And Proview's CEO has suggested controversially that Apple boss Tim Cook cracked open his own wallet to find the money.

Yang Rongshan's conclusions, as reported in IT Times [Chinese language], relate to Cook's decision in May to turn down potential share dividend earnings of $75m, a figure that he says is ""very close with the compensation Apple would pay for Proview".

Proview legal representative Ray Mai backed up his CEO (as well as chairman and company founder), arguing that the Proview case had been mishandled by Apple management, and that it was only right that the financial penalty should fall on management rather than shareholders.

"Since Steve Jobs was gone, Cook should take up the responsibility," said Mai.

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple's behaviour when securing the iPad trademark from Proview was a little unorthodox: it bought the rights through a European proxy. Nevertheless, Yang Rongshan's theory seems a little tenuous.

This isn't the first time an Apple boss has turned down earnings to which he is entitled, of course; Steve Jobs worked for nothing while acting as interim CEO when he came back to the company in 1997, before raising his financial expectations to include a jet.