“Apple Inc. has lost its fight to keep the ‘iphone’ name exclusive to its products with a Beijing court deciding a little-known accessories maker can use the label for a range of wallets and purses,” David Ramli reports for Bloomberg.
“The ruling affirmed that Xintong Tiandi Technology (Beijing) Ltd. has the right to use the name on a swath of luxury leathergoods, state publication Legal Daily reported,” Ramli reports. “While Apple retains the trademark for mobile devices, it defeats the company’s efforts to gain full ownership of the moniker in the world’s largest mobile market and is the second time it has lost exclusive use in China of a brand name it coined.”
“Xintong holds a Class 18 trademark running the gamut of leather and imitation leather goods, from smartphone cases to products that Apple has never launched like wallets and clutches, Legal Daily said,” Ramli reports. “The court decision upholds a 2013 ruling that centered on the fact that, when the Chinese company sought its trademark in September 2007, the iPhone had only been linked to products outside of China. Apple didn’t start selling its iconic iPhones in the country until 2009, it said.”
“‘Apple could appeal this case to the Supreme People’s Court in Beijing and they probably will,’ said Ted Chwu, a partner and lawyer specializing in intellectual property at Bird & Bird in Hong Kong,” Ramli reports. “While Chinese courts are getting better at understanding intellectual property issues, they are struggling to handle the deluge of applications from all over the world, Chwu said.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: That ruling is almost as ridiculous as slapping a Xiaomi iPhone knockoff into Xintong “IPHONE” case.
This sounds like another attempt to extract a wildly overpaid “settlement” from Apple, à la iPad.
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