ALTHOUGH often touted as a company that cares about people, Apple does have a bit of a reputation for understandably trying to protect its trademark by going to law, but on this occasion it has received a verdict which will not be to its liking.
The Beijing Municipal High People’s Court ruled in favour of Xintong Tiandi Technology which uses the name IPHONE on a range of leather goods including handbags and it registered that trademark in China in 2010.
It must be doubly irritating for Apple as it first tried to register the iPhone name in the country in 2002, but this was not accepted until 2013, three years later than the IPHONE registration.
A spokesman for the American giant made a statement saying “Apple is disappointed the Beijing High 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.”
The court ruled that Apple could not prove it was a well-known brand in China before Xintong Tiandi filed its trademark application in 2007 especially as their iPhones only went on sale in China in 2009.
Sales of the company’s phones have shown a surprising drop on a worldwide basis, but in China which has been a very important market their sales have nosedived by more than 25 per cent and coupled with this is the fact that a law passed in March requiring all content shown in China to be stored on servers based on the Chinese mainland resulted in the closing down of iTunes, although the company does hope to resurrect this business soon.