iPhone 6 ruled as a rip-off of Chinese phone by Beijing patent authority

Looking back, Apple probably wouldn’t mark 2016 as a good year. After it was embroiled in a battle with the FBI in early 2016, it had to relinquish exclusive rights to the iPhone name in China just two months ago. Now, the company has suffered yet another setback in the country.

The Beijing Intellectual Property Office has today ruled against Apple in its latest patent dispute. Its iPhone 6 (and Plus) design were found to infringe on patents owned by Chinese mobile phone company Baili.

According to Bloomberg, the Apple devices were found to be too similar to Baili’s 100C phone.

Related: Apple loses exclusive rights to ‘iPhone’ name in China

Usually, those in the Western world view phones similar to the iPhone as iPhone clones. Indeed, even big name companies like Huawei and Xiaomi previously borrowed some styling traits from its Western competitor. Ultimately, it’s rare to suggest that the iPhone itself is posing as another device.

The Baili device was launched in 2014 as well, and considering that Apple’s iPhone 6 range arrived in China after that, the logic behind the decision, in that respect, is concrete.

According to Chinese sources, Apple is already planning its appeal which can be taken up with the Beijing Higher People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Court, and for now, the ruling only affects Apple’s sale of the iPhone 6 in Beijing. However, legal battles against Apple in the future can now use this ruling as a benchmark.

China is Apple’s second biggest market, but has suffered sales drops of 26% in Q1 2016 alone.

Andy Walker, former editor


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