Big brands that lost trademark fights to crafty – and smaller – overseas rivals

(2) Apple

The most recent example of David beating Goliath is when Apple lost a trademark fight in China. This allowed Xintong Tiandi Technology to continue using “iPhone” branding on its leather products – spanning handbags, mobile cases, etc.

It was suggested that Xintong had trademarked “iPhone” for leather products in 2010. Meanwhile, Apple applied for a trademark for the name covering electronic goods in 2002, but it was only approved in 2013.

If the iPhone was a company it’d be bigger than Yahoo! and Google

Apple first brought the opposition case against Xintong at the China Trademark Office (CTMO) in 2012, but the CTMO ruled in favour of Xintong, prompting Apple to sue the company in a lower Beijing court. But the court also ruled against Apple, forcing the company to then appeal against the decision to the high people’s court.

It has now said that Apple does not have proof that it was a well-known brand in China before Xintong filed its trademark application in 2007.

As such, the court claimed the general public will unlikely link Xintong’s trademark with Apple and will not harm Apple’s interests. Xintong responded: “The ‘iPhone’ brand can blossom widely outside Apple. We will take the ‘iPhone’ marque to its pinnacle, and together bring more benefit to the community of ‘iPhone’ consumers!”

This news follows shortly after investor Carl Icahn sold all his shares in Apple over concerns about the technology firm’s prospects in China.

Did you know the founder of Trunki spent £500,000 fighting its design infringement battles? Read on for more facts

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