An ongoing trademark battle has concluded in favour of Xintong Tiandi Technology over the use of the name ‘IPHONE’, the globally recognised trade name of Apple Inc.’s mobile technology.
According to the official Legal Daily newspaper, Beijing Municipal High People’s Court ruled in favour of the Chinese firm, which sells ‘IPHONE’ branded products in the form of handbags and other leather products. Xintong Tiandi will therefore be able to continue business using the high-status name.
Xintong Tiandi had the name “IPHONE” trademarked in 2010 for leather products in China. Though not approved until 2013, Apple filed a trademark bid for the name for electronic goods in 2002. Apple challenged the Chinese firm’s rights to the name via the Chinese trademark authority in 2012, and upon failing, filed a lawsuit with a lower Beijing court. Again this failed, so Apple appealed to the High People’s Court.
Alongside a law being passed in China requiring all digital content within China to be stored on Chinese mainland servers, and therefore Apple’s iBooks and iTunes content being shut out of the China, one its biggest target markets, this news is likely to affect the world’s biggest tech firm in Asia.
According to the BBC, Carl Icahn, a billionaire investor, sold all his Apple shares last week in concern over the company’s future in China.