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Apple defeated in trademark fight over the name 'iPhone' in China

Apple vs. Xintong Tiandi Technology
Apple vs. Xintong Tiandi Technology

Apple has been defeated in a legal row over the name 'iPhone' in China, after taking Xintong Tiandi Technology, a leather goods firm, to court for using the name 'iPhone' on its products.

In 2010, Xintong Tiandi Technology registered 'IPHONE' as a trademark for leather products. Apple made a bid for it in 2002 for electronic products - but this was not approved until 2013.

A spokesman for Apple said the company 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".

He also explained that the company plans to "request a retrial with the Supreme People's Court" to protect its trademark.

The statement ended with him explaining the reasoning behind the trademark battle:

We work hard to make the best products in the world and want to ensure our customers' experience is not compromised by companies who try to profit from using our brand.

This isn't the first legal battle between Apple and Xintong Tiandi Technology. In 2012, Apple brought the first case against the leather goods firm to the Chinese trademark authority. It ruled against Apple, and the company then decided to file a lawsuit to the lower Beijing court, which also ruled against the firm. Apple made an appeal to the higher court, and was yet again defeated, as it could not prove that its brand was well-known before 2007, when Xintong Tiandi Technology filed for trademark rights. Apple's iPhone did not go on sale in China until 2009.

This follows a flurry of bad news for Apple, with the company seeing year-on-year declines across its major product lines, followed shortly by being told it is not allowed to sell refurbished iPhones in India.

Source: BBC News

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