Apple to appeal ruling in China after losing trademark fight
APPLE will appeal a trademark ruling in China after it lost a four-year fight against a Beijing leather-products maker.
The Beijing Municipal High People's Court recently ruled in favour of Xintong Tiandi Technology (Beijing), which sells leather products such as smartphone cases and handbags under the name iphone, according to The Legal Daily, a Chinese state-run newspaper.
The ruling was applauded by Xintong. In a statement posted on its website, it said: " From now on, 'iphone' does not belong to Apple exclusively!"
According to The Legal Daily report last week, Apple applied for the iPhone trademark under international trademark class 9 (electrical and scientific apparatus) in China in 2002.
It was not granted until 2013.
Xintong filed for its iphone trademark in China in 2007 under international trademark class 18 (leather goods). That year, Apple launched its first iPhone in the United States.
Apple first took the case to the Chinese trademark authority in 2012 but the latter said the firm could not prove iPhone was a well-known brand in China prior to Xintong's registration in 2007.
Apple then filed a lawsuit in a Beijing court which ruled against the company. It appealed to the Beijing Municipal High People's Court which upheld the lower court's ruling, saying the company did not sell the iPhone in China until 2009.
THE CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK