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Beijing Court Throws Out Infringement Lawsuit Against Apple

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Yang Ge reports: A Beijing court has dismissed accusations by a Shenzhen firm that said Apple Inc.’s iPhone violated its external-design copyrights.

The case is a victory for the U.S. tech giant as China tries to build up the capabilities of its intellectual property (IP) protection system.

The ruling by the Beijing intellectual property court, announced late Friday on its official microblog, contained two parts, led by the finding that Apple did not violate an external design patent held by plaintiff Shenzhen Baili. The court ruled against Apple in a second claim also related to the case, though that decision became unimportant with the more critical first ruling.

The more important of the two rulings overturned a lower court’s decision last year that Apple’s iPhone 6 models had violated Baili’s patents. That earlier ruling would have banned Apple from selling those models in Beijing, but execution was suspended pending the appeal.

“We have a deep respect for intellectual property and the hard work that goes into inventing products people love,” Apple said in a statement. “Baili has been trying to claim our work as their own, and we thank the Beijing IP Court for recognizing the value of Apple’s unique and innovative design.”

At the same time, the Beijing IP court also rejected a separate claim by Apple aimed at countering the original Baili lawsuit. In that case, Apple had sued both Baili and the government intellectual property office that allowed the Shenzhen company to register the design that lay at the center of the original lawsuit. Apple’s action had called the registration invalid.

Apple and other Western companies have frequently become victims of similar lawsuits by Chinese companies that register trademarks and other designs before the Western companies introduce their products to China. … (read more)

via Caixin Global

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