Date: Thursday, May 5th, 2016, 07:56
Category: iPhone, Legal, News
It has to sting when a Chinese clothing company wins the exclusive right to the “IPHONE” name in court.
In a recent statement, Apple has declared that it will appeal a Chinese trademark ruling which saw the company lose exclusive rights to the iPhone name, allowing other Chinese companies to use the name for leather goods products. Obviously, the iPhone is Apple’s cash cow so the initial ruling was a big blow allowing legal dilution of its most-valuable brand.
Apple will take the appeal to the Supreme People’s Court, the highest court in the Chinese law system.
The company has expressed disappointment with the initial ruling, especially given that it had successfully defended its right in other cases in the Xintong province when manufacturers has created “IPHONE” bags.
The iPhone name has been the subject of many trademark trials in China, with XTT filing a trademark to the iPhone name for leather goods in 2007.
Apple offered the following statement:
“We intend to request a retrial with the Supreme People’s Court and will continue to vigorously protect our trademark rights. Apple 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,”
Apple previously lost appeal cases as the Chinese government ruled the iPhone brand was not well-known in the region when Xintong originally filed its claim. Although the iPhone was introduced to the world in 2007, it did not launch in China until 2009.
The verdict comes at a time when Apple is looking for a way to protect its brand identity, especially with the iPhone, and especially at a time when slumping iPhone sales could affect its bottom line.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.