back to article Apple loses iPhone™

Apple has lost its trademark on the word "iPhone" in China. The decision was handed down in late April by a court in Beijing, but has only reached the Anglophone press now. The court stated that Apple was not able to prove that "iPhone" was "a famous brand" in China before the mobe's release in that country in 2009, and as …

  1. EddieD

    I need a hanky...

    to staunch the freely flowing tears...

    ...of mirth...

    Apple were never going to win that one. They were in China, the iPhone wasn't a product there when the company launched their product, and so on.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: I need a hanky...

      The iPhone wasn't a product there when this China company launched theirs, however the iPhone had been announced and was a product in the US. I'll bet the only reason they used that name was to capitalize on the publicity. It seems unlikely they independently came up with the name in 2007, and decided "this is the perfect name for leather goods!"

  2. Gezza

    W.O. v Design

    Perhaps the finer points of trademark law are missed by the author here but they lost the 'Word Only' trademark - that is the word iphone. I should imagine the stylised design/graphic of how the letters and typeface is set is probably still there for the taking and should the leather goods co. start embossing iPhone on their products, rather than IPHONE or iphone, I think they would have a case to answer. Still it is China, so anything's possible.

  3. DougS Silver badge

    Doesn't mean all that much

    Since China's protection for US trademarks isn't all that great. There is a history of actual phones claiming to be iPhones (that run Android) sold there. Not sure if they still are, but I wouldn't doubt it. Having someone sell wallets with the name IPHONE on it isn't exactly a terrible blow, but they had to fight it either way.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Well that explains why the yanks have been so incandescent with desperation to overthrow the "WIPO" recently.

  5. Neoc

    Remember also - Trademarks do not "jump" across business types. Which is why Apple (computer) and Apple (record) both existed for a while. So the fact that there is a leather-goods manufacturer using the name "iphone" does not automatically grant Apple the right to sue for trademark infringement. (now if the leather goods were covers specifically made for the iphone and marketed as such...)

    This is, by the way, why "Burger King" had to change its name to "Hungry Jack" - the name "Burger King" was already TMed by a takeaway shop in Adelaide (IIRC).

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