“The Beijing Intellectual Property Office ruled last week that some Apple devices violate the design patents of little-known Chinese smartphone vendor Shenzhen Baili,” David Ramli and Selina Wang report for Bloomberg. “While the iPhone maker appealed to keep its best-selling gadgets on the market, it could face a rising tide of lawsuits and a threat to its sales if the ruling creates a precedent, according to Counterpoint Research.”

“Baili is just one of scores of smartphone brands trying to cash in on the country’s mobile boom. Legitimate lawsuits are on the rise as Chinese companies build up their intellectual property through research and development, said James Yan, Beijing-based research director at Counterpoint,” Ramli and Wang report. “‘Chinese makers have been building their own IP pools over the past years and are able to somehow fight against industry giants,’ he said. ‘Apple isn’t willing to publicly lose an IP case in China and the best option for them is to offer settlement fees.'”

“Apple should really have caught the potential patent violation before it reached the courts, said Benjamin Bai, the head of Allen & Overy’s IP practice,” Ramli and Wang report. “‘They should’ve found the patent and dealt with it – this should never be a surprise,’ said Bai, who previously had Apple as a client at his former firm. But ‘there are a lot more things Apple can do to get out of this mess. You pay license fees and settle this mess. The second is to appeal and in the meantime try to invalidate the patent.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s either a shakedown or stupidity because there is no infringement. If Apple’s iPhone infringe on Baili’s, then virtually every smartphone introduced since the iPhone debuted in 2007 infringes on Apple’s design patents.

The devices compared:

Baili 100+ 100C phone

Baili 100+ 100C phone

 

Apple iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6

SEE ALSO:
Jim Cramer: Reports of Apple iPhone’s demise in China are greatly exaggerated – June 17, 2016
Not even Apple can depend on fair treatment in China – June 17, 2016
No, the iPhone hasn’t been hit with a China sales ban, but Apple is in a sticky situation – June 17, 2016
Beijing regulator orders Apple to stop sales of iPhone 6/Plus models – June 17, 2016
Chinese company sues Apple for alleging ‘copying’ their design in iPhone 6 – June 16, 2016