Law & Policy, Telecom & Wireless

Apple Loses iPhone Trademark Case In China

There is now no need to worry the next time you purchase a leather case for your iPhone and wonder if the odd all-caps "IPHONE" imprinted on the outside is real. In China, it is real and legal now.

Apple has lost its trademark dispute with Beijing Xintong Tiandi Technology Co., Ltd. over the use of the "IPHONE" mark in China. Tiandi sells a range of purses, cases, and bindings with the eponymous "IPHONE" name stamped on each one.

The case apparently was decided in April by the Beijing Municipal High People's Court, but only now is news leaking in the Chinese press about the decision. This legal decision comes at a bad time for Apple, which has seen its sales slip globally, and especially in China it is losing momentum with more than 25% drop in the country.

The court ruled that the "IPHONE" name would not cause confusion about consumers in China, and therefore Tiandi has a right to use the trademark.

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