Apple and Proview could be nearing a settlement in the ‘iPad’ trademark lawsuit in China.

China’s Xinhua reports that Proview lawyer Xie Xianghui said: “We feel that the attitude of Apple Inc. has changed. Although they expressed that they were willing to negotiate, they have never taken any action before. But now, they are having conversations with us, and we have begun to consult on the case.”

The report claims that Apple has offered an out-of-court settlement to Proview, the company that claims to own the iPad trademark in China, but a deal has not yet been made. Xie didn’t reveal the amount of money Proview has been offered by Apple.

In December 2011, The Shenzhen Municipal Intermediate People’s Court in China said that even though Apple had signed a contract for the iPad trademark rights, it had done so only through a subsidiary of Proview in Taiwan. The Shenzhen-based Proview didn’t attend any trademark negotiations with Apple, or formally transfer the trademark rights, meaning the contract is not legally binding.

Apple appealed this decision, and has threatened to sue Proview for inflaming the dispute and making misleading statements that could damage Apple’s business. Proview is still trying to ban Apple from selling its iPad in China, and Apple is facing the prospect of paying millions in fines.

“It’s good for both sides to reach a settlement as soon as possible,” said Xie.