A Beijing court has ruled a Chinese company has the right to make leather products branded “IPHONE”.
The Beijing Municipal High People’s Court recently ruled in favor of Xintong Tiandi Technology (Beijing) Ltd, which sells a number of leather products such as smartphone cases and handbags under the name “IPHONE”, according to The Legal Daily, a Chinese state-run newspaper.
In a statement, Apple said it was disappointed with the ruling. “We intend to request a retrial with the Supreme People’s Court and will continue to vigorously protect our trademark rights,” the company said.
Apple filed a trademark bid for the name for electronic goods in 2002, but it was not approved until 2013.
“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,” said a spokesman for the firm.
“We intend to request a retrial with the Supreme People’s Court and will continue to vigorously protect our trademark rights.
“We work hard to make the best products in the world and want to ensure our customers’ experience is not compromised by companies who try to profit from using our brand.”
Apple has been facing tougher times in Greater China – its second-largest market.
Last week, billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn said he had sold his entire stake in the firm. He cited risks to the stock because of the economic slowdown in the People’s Republic and worries about how the country could become more prohibitive in doing business.