Apple has lost another legal attempt to block Huawei Technology Co’s use of the “MatePod” name, this time for a pair of earbuds, according to the Trademark Office of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA). The argument did not prove compelling for the trademark authority, which ruled in September that there was “insufficient evidence” to prove Huawei’s applications to be copycats. Apple opposed the Shenzhen-based company’s use of the “Huawei MatePod” brand in the earphone category on the grounds that it was similar to Apple’s own trademarks for the terms Pod, iPod, EarPods and AirPods, according to a recently publicised document on the CNIPA website. The iPhone maker argued that Huawei “maliciously copied” Apple’s trademarks, which could have a negative impact on society. Huawei was granted the MatePod trademark, but Apple still has the right to make further appeals to CNIPA to annul the decision. Huawei declined to comment, and Apple did not respond to a request for comment. “Therefore, the trademarks of the two companies are not similar trademarks on similar products,” CNIPA determined, “and the coexistence would not cause confusion among the consumers.” In its ruling, the CNIPA acknowledged that the companies’ trademarks share similar “functionalities, sales channels and target consumers”, but “the English spelling of the trademarks are different, and the differentiations in pronunciation and the overall appearance are distinct”. In June, the agency rejected another attempt by Apple to block Huawei from using the MatePod name, but in the advertising and online advertising categories. Like many other tech companies these days, Huawei has been pushing its own brand of truly wireless earphones. Its current AirPods rivals are called FreeBuds. The market for these products has become fiercely competitive since smartphone makers started doing away with headphone jacks in 2016. China is expected to see 120 million Bluetooth headphones shipped this year, according to a report this month from IDC. Apple was the biggest player in wireless earphones in China last year, taking up 15.6 per cent of the market, according to a separate IDC report. Huawei and Xiaomi followed with 8.8 per cent and 8.4 per cent, respectively. Still, the market remains relatively diverse. The top three wireless earphone brands accounted for 32.8 per cent of the market in China last year, while smaller vendors accounted for about half. News Summary: – Apple doesn’t block Huawei’s MatePod trademark for AirPods rivals in China – Check all news and articles from the latest [Security news] updates. [Google News]