A Chinese court has ruled in favour of Apple Inc. this week, overturning a decision that involved iPhone patents in China, one of the tech giants biggest markets.
The Beijing IP Court ruled that Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models do not infringe on local smartphone exterior design, a patent held by Chinese manufacturer, Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services Co.
According to a newspaper report supervised by China’s Supreme People’s Court, the court outlined that Baili, a defunct manufacturer, had no grounds to claim the exterior designs as its own property. The court added that it was easy for consumers to locate the differences.
“Baili has been trying to claim our work as their own and we thank the Beijing IP Court for recognising the value of Apple’s unique and innovative design,” an Apple spokeswoman said in a statement to media.
However, Baili’s lawyer, Andy Yang of Beijing Wis & Weals, advised the decision would be appealed.
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“We think some of the facts ascertained by the Beijing IP court are not accurate, so Baili is definitely going to continue to safeguard its legitimate rights,” Yang said.
The Beijing IP Court’s decision on March 24 came shortly after Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook visited China, speaking to top officials and pledging further investment in the country.
The US tech giant opened a store in China the day after the court ruling in Nanjing. Located in Jinmao Place the store façade features a “90-by-30-foot glass entryway.”
The new store has been fitted out in Apple’s new retail design, which is already being rolled out across the US.
In Nanjing, Chinese visitors can take part in The Forum, “a place where the local community can gather and learn,” as well as The Boardroom, “a space for local entrepreneurs, developers and business customers to get hands-on advice and training,” said Apple in a press release.
Apple currently operates approximately 40 stores in China.