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Apple Loses China Trademark Case
Economy, Sci & Tech

Apple Loses China Trademark Case

Apple Inc has lost a battle for the use of the "iPhone" trademark on leather goods in China, after a Beijing court ruled against the world's biggest technology company in favor of a local firm, state media reported.

The Beijing Municipal High People's Court said Xintong Tiandi can continue to use the phrase "iPhone" on its leather goods, according to the Legal Daily, the official newspaper of China's Justice Ministry, Reuters reported on Wednesday. In a statement, Apple said it was disappointed with the ruling.

"We intend to request a retrial with the Supreme People's Court and will continue to vigorously protect our trademark rights," the company said.

The US tech company has repeatedly found itself tangled in intellectual property disputes in China where the sheer number of companies means trademarks are often misused by little-known players. Some enterprising firms are quick to snap up trademarks that are known overseas but not registered locally, in the hope of a payoff down the line.

In 2002, Apple applied for the "iPhone" trademark for computer hardware and software in China, but that was only approved in 2013.

Xintong Tiandi created its trademark for leather goods in 2007, the first year Apple's iPhone went on sale. The US firm has been disputing the Chinese firm's intellectual property rights since 2012.

 

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