A Beijing court’s decision against Apple Inc. resulted in losing its exclusive trademark rights over iPhone. The winner of the case is a small-time accessories company that produces wallets and purses.
According to state publication Legal Daily reports, the court’s ruling will now allow Xintong Tiandi Technology (Beijing) Ltd. To rightfully use iPhone’s famed label on their luxury leather goods. The decision by Beijing is considered to be a huge blow for Apple, as the company was successfully able to protect its trademark in the world of smartphone devices but, lacks the legal power to gain ownership of the name in the entire mobile market.
Legal Daily also confirmed, Xintong currently has a Class 18 trademark that allows them to use the label on their range of leather, which includes smartphone casings, wallets and clutches, Products that weren’t launched before by Apple. The decision sided with the Beijing Company due to the 2013 ruling which states, Xintong applied for a trademark in September 2007, during the time when Apple’s iPhone was not available in China. The tech company started selling the smartphone from 2009.
Apple gave out a statement on Wednesday saying, “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, We intend to request a retrial with the Supreme People’s Court and will continue to vigorously protect our trademark rights.”
Xintog Tiandi official posted on its website that the court preceding was in its favor and the ultimately it’s a victory for free consumer markets. Ted Chwu, a lawyer and partner specializing in intellectual property at Bird & Bird in Hong Kong said that, “Apple could appeal this case to the Supreme People’s Court in Beijing and they probably will, If you’ve got the budget to make a huge commercial splash then you should expect that splash to attract attention in the wrong way.”
Previously, Apple has faced similar setbacks in China when the company faced a violation of foreign publishing regulations in April 2013 which lead to their books and movie services being blocked in the country. State media impelled CEO, Tim Cook to state an apology for sloppy customer service and insufficient warranties.
He also added, “Just keeping up with the pace of growth with the Chinese economy and the filing of trademarks as companies in China get more IP savvy is a great challenge.” Apple’s mission to win over its trademark and the people of china is greatly necessary as the country results to 25% of Apple’s revenue. With the latest downfall in Q2 results, Apple cannot face any setbacks that results in pulling out its products.
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