Apple loses trademark fight over “iPhone” name in China
Apple has lost a trademark fight in China, meaning a firm which sells handbags and other leather goods can continue to use the name “IPHONE”.
The Beijing Municipal High People’s Court ruled in favour of Xintong Tiandi Technology, said the official Legal Daily newspaper.
Xintong Tiandi trademarked “IPHONE” for leather products in China in 2010.
Apple filed a trademark bid for the name for electronic goods in 2002, but it was not approved until 2013.
“Apple is disappointed the Beijing Higher People’s Court chose to allow Xintong to use the iPhone mark for leather goods when we have prevailed in several other cases against Xintong,” said a spokesman for the firm.
“We intend to request a retrial with the Supreme People’s Court and will continue to vigorously protect our trademark rights.
“We work hard to make the best products in the world and want to ensure our customers’ experience is not compromised by companies who try to profit from using our brand.”
The Legal Daily (in Chinese) is widely recognised as the official mouthpiece for the country’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission. Its report came out in late April but has only just been widely circulated.
Xintong Tiandi sells handbags, mobile phone cases and other leather goods branded with the name “IPHONE”, close to Apple’s iPhone mark, and the “R” registered trademark symbol.
Apple first brought the case against the company to the Chinese trademark authority in 2012, then when that failed, filed a lawsuit in a lower Beijing court.
But both ruled against Apple, so it appealed to the higher court.
The higher court ruled that Apple could not prove it was a well-known brand in China before Xintong Tiandi filed its trademark application in 2007.
Apple iPhones first went on sale in China in 2009.
now this is funny..somehow they dont have to change their name..even though they dont sell mobile phones..they do use the exact name of the apple flagship product..
“The Beijing Municipal High People’s Court ruled in favour of Xintong Tiandi Technology, said the official Legal Daily newspaper. Xintong Tiandi trademarked “IPHONE” for leather products in China in 2010.”