A Beijing court has recently ruled Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) guilty of ripping off the design of a Chinese smartphone. The Beijing court has ordered sales to be discontinued in the country. The iPhone maker has appealed the court’s decision and got a stay order. For now, sales will resume.
The Chinese smartphone maker Baili Marketing Services sued the Cupertino, California-based tech giant for replicating the design of its smartphone. Baili released its smartphone model 100C in the month of April in 2014, while the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were rolled out in fall 2014. This is supposed to be the strongest argument in the case, as the lawyers of the Chinese smartphone maker successfully convinced the Beijing court that the models have very similar designs. The Beijing court then ordered the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to be taken off shelves.
According to the official ruling,“The Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have minor differences from Baili’s 100C. The differences are so tiny that the average customer could not notice. So, this case falls into the patent rights protection category.”
The lawsuit was filed against the iPhone maker and its local distribution partner Zhongfu Telecom. Apple Inc and Zhongfu have both filed an appeal against the decision. According to the lawyers of the iPhone maker in the appeal, “iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus products do not infringe upon the design patents.” Following the appeal, a stay order has been issued, which means that Apple can continue selling all iPhone models in the Asian country until the appeal is heard in court.
According to the tech giant, “iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well as iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE models are all available for sale today in China.”
“We appealed an administrative order from a regional patent tribunal in Beijing last month and as a result the order has been stayed pending review by the Beijing IP Court,” Apple further added.
Recently, the outlook for the iPhone maker in China has been getting a bit gloomy. The Asian country has always been a challenging market to tap for western corporations, but the Cupertino, California-based tech giant appears to be immune to the hostility. Yet, as local competition starts to mature, things are expected to get even more challenging.
The CEO of the iPhone maker Mr. Tim Cook appears to have his priorities straight. China is the biggest market for the iPhones and iPads of the tech giant after the United States, and therefore, it is more reasonable for Apple Inc. to attempt to gain foothold. Analysts forecast that more lawsuits of this sort are anticipated to arise in the near future for the iPhone maker and other foreign corporations operating in the Asian country. The outcomes of the litigations are already beginning to lean in favor of the local companies. Despite this, Apple Inc. appears to have a plan. Although the tech corporation experienced its first ever quarter-over-quarter slump in sales during the month of March, Tim Cook stays committed to business in China. Furthermore, he has mentioned that the Asian country is going to be the largest market for the products of Apple Inc.—even bigger than the United States.