‘iPhone’ dispute in China lost by Apple
Apple, the technology powerhouse, has lost a trade mark battle to prevent another company from using the mark ‘iPhone’ on their products.
In another example of a David and Goliath battle, Beijing Municipal High People’s Court has allowed a company to still use the mark that represents arguably the most recognisable piece of technology of the modern world on their leather goods.
Xintong Tiandi Technology, who used the mark on their leather goods, had registered the mark in China for their products in 2010.
This was before Apple had their application for the registration of it in relation to electrical goods approved in 2013.
However, in 2012 Apple had submitted an opposition case against Xintong to the China Trade mark Office. However, they stated that Apple had not succeeded in preventing the registration of the mark. This lead them to take action in a lower Beijing court.
Apple didn’t have any rise in success here though as the lower court also ruled against them.
Following a further recent appeal to the High People Court, they have now exhausted all options following another rejection of their opposition. The High People court stated that Apple could not prove that they had built a well-known reputation in China to allow them to successfully oppose Xintong’s application submitted in 2007.
This is again another example in the current trend where being a big corporation in your industry does not automatically guarantee you success over a smaller company in a trade mark battle.
By Ellis Sweetenham