Guangdong Apples Industrial Co, a Chinese maker of leather goods, had registered a trademark remarkably similar to that of computer manufacturer Apple–with an entire apple, although Apple Computer's trademark has an apple with a bite taken out of it.

Apple Computer has now lost a court appeal against a decision that had rejected its application to have its trademark logo extended to cover clothing and other items in China, according to Xinhua news agency. The verdict by the Beijing Number One Intermediate People's Court means that the U.S. computer company cannot claim that its logo is protected under law for those goods, the news agency said.

Xinhua said the trademark appraisal committee of China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) had previously rejected the company's application to have its trademark logo extended to cover clothing, hats and shoes. In April 2000, Apple Computer submitted an application for such protection but that was eventually rejected by the SAIC. Apple requested the trademark appraisal committee of the SAIC review the case, but its submission was rejected in June 2003.

The report said the SAIC, in its original decision, had concluded the two trademarks were similar but not entirely the same. Apple officials were not immediately available for comment.

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