Chinese firm can continue using name "iPhone" as Apple loses legal case

Chinese firm can continue using name

PanARMENIAN.Net - Apple has lost a trademark fight in China, meaning a firm which sells handbags and other leather goods can continue use the name "iPhone", BBC News reports.

The Beijing Municipal High People's Court ruled in favor of Xintong Tiandi Technology, said the official Legal Daily newspaper.

Xintong Tiandi trademarked "IPHONE" for leather products in China in 2010.

Apple filed a trademark bid for the name for electronic goods in 2002, but it was not approved until 2013.

The Legal Daily (in Chinese) is widely recognized as the official mouthpiece for the country's Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission. Its report came out in late April but has only just been widely circulated.

Xintong Tiandi sells handbags, mobile phone cases and other leather goods branded with the name "IPHONE" and the "R" registered trademark symbol.

Apple first brought the case against the company to the Chinese trademark authority in 2012, then when that failed, filed a lawsuit in a lower Beijing court.

But both ruled against Apple, so it appealed to the higher court.

The higher court ruled that Apple could not prove it was a well-known brand in China before Xintong Tiandi filed its trademark application in 2007.

Apple iPhones first went on sale in China in 2009.

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