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Apple’s China woes continue as it loses iPhone trademark battle

Apple has lost a fight in China over a trademark on the word iPhone. A Chinese company selling handbags and leather goods has retained the trademark it was awarded in 2010.

Though Apple was awarded a trademark for electronic goods in 2013 (despite applying for it in 2002), Xintong Tiandi, which filed for its trademark in 2007, has been allowed to continue using the name, which it prints on its goods as IPHONE.

According to the BBC, The Legal Daily, a Chinese publication filed an article in April which reported Apple’s legal loss. Apple had brought the case to the Chinese trademark authority in 2012, but following its loss there, it filed again in a lower Beijing court. Again, it ruled against Apple, which then appealed to the Beijing Municipal High People’s Court, which has now also ruled in favor of Xintong Tiandi.

The ruling said Apple was unable to prove it was a well-known brand in China before 2007, when Xintong Tiandi made its trademark application. Unfortunately for Apple, despite releasing the iPhone in 2007, it didn’t reach China until 2009.

It’s not been a good few weeks for Apple when it comes to the territory, which makes up a quarter of its top line revenue, as well as being its second biggest market. Back in March iBooks and iTunes were shut down after Beijing passed a law requiring content to be stored on servers based in China.

Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed a drop of 26 percent in sales of the iPhone in China, part of an overall 13 percent drop in revenue on slow iPhone sales.

Furthermore, multi-billionaire Apple investor Carl Icahn sold his Apple shares over concerns about the company’s reliance on the Chinese market causing Apple shares to tumble once more. They eventually ended down for eight days in a row, the longest streak since the 90s.