“When a Beijing regulator recently ruled against Apple Inc. in a patent dispute, it handed a victory to a Chinese company that barely exists,” Eva Dou and Alyssa Abkowitz report for The Wall Street Journal. “Phone calls to the company, Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services Co., ring unanswered. Its websites have been deleted. Visits to its three registered addresses found no company offices.”
“When Baili took on Apple in December 2014, telling Chinese regulators that the Cupertino, Calif., company’s new models infringed on its smartphone design patents, it had bold aspirations, a big-name investor in Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc. and a team of experienced executives,” Dou and Abkowitz report. “By the time regulators reached a decision this year, Digione had collapsed, brought down by buggy products, mismanagement and fierce competition, according to former employees and investors. Digione has been absent from China’s mobile-phone market for at least a year and Baidu has accused it of squandering its investment.”
“Digione, whose formal name is Shenzhen City 100/100 Digital Technology Co., and Baili are both insolvent, their debt exceeding their total assets, according to the companies’ annual financial reports,” Dou and Abkowitz report. “Emen Zheng, a consultant who had been hired by Digione to set up its e-commerce platform… and other former employees said the lawsuit with Apple was always more a marketing ploy than a serious court case, and that given the inherent limitations of smartphone design, many devices now share similar physical features. ‘In truth, there are other smartphones that look more like the iPhone 6,’ said Mr. Zheng.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Again, 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:
Apple’s patent fight loss in China seen emboldening rivals – June 20, 2016
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