American tech giant, Apple Corporation has lost her legal battle to secure its lucrative and ultra-popular iPhone brand in China.
Apple originally applied for the local trademark of the iPhone brand name in 2007, the year that the very first iPhone launched. However, in a twist, a Beijing court has ruled that the iPhone wasn’t a “famous brand” when the application was filed. That’s because Apple didn’t start selling iPhones in China until 2009.
Apple originally applied for the iPhone trademark for computer hardware and software in China in 2002, which was approved in 2013. But the trademark doesn’t extend beyond tech, which allowed Xintong Tiandi to trademark the term for leather goods in 2007.
The smart Chinese geeks had registered the patent on the brand name to boost their own product and its been a wise decision.
Well, fret not guys! We won’t be seeing some Chinese iPhones anytime soon though. Well, except leather products;like handbags, wallets, mobile phone cases bearing the iPhone brand.
But as a result of this ruling, another company is now free to use the branding, despite the iPhone being one of Apple’s best-selling products of all time.
Apple has repeatedly been enmeshed in legal battles over trademarking issues. In 2012, the company paid $60 million to end a legal battle over the iPad trademark in China.
And just last year, the owner of the ‘iWatch’ trademark sued Apple for “systematically using iWatch wording on Google search engine in order to direct customers to its own website, advertising Apple Watch”.