Apple has officially lost its right to exclusively use the iPhone trademark in China, and, as expected, the tech giant isn’t satisfied with the Beijing Municipal Higher People’s Court ruling. Its next move? It plans to take the dispute over the trademark to the highest court, Apple said in a statement sent to the South China Morning Post, as cited by CNBC.
“We intend to request a retrial with the Supreme People’s Court and will continue to vigorously protect our trademark rights,” Apple said in a statement sent to the South China Morning Post. “Apple is disappointed the Beijing Higher People’s Court chose to allow Xintong to use the IPHONE mark for leather goods when we have prevailed in several other cases against Xintong,” the Apple statement said.
The case is tricky, because Apple applied for the iPhone trademark in China in October 2002 but didn’t get approval until 2013. On the other hand, Xitong Tiandy Technology, a Beijing-based company favoured by the recent ruling, first applied for the iPhone trademark in September 2007.
A source speaking with CNBC says Apple has won a few battles, cancelling other marks such as IPHONE, “iphone shop”, and “ipad”, which were also sought by Xitong in other trademark categories.
You may recall that a few years back Apple had another important trademark battle. That time was for the iPad name. In the end, Shenzen-based Proview Technology ended up with $60 million in its bank account, an amount which was a far cry from the $2 billion it originally sought.