China is a huge market for smartphones and if Apple were to lose iPhone sales in China, that would have been a big blow. Fortunately for the company, a lawsuit seeking to ban iPhone sales has been defeated in court. Chinese smartphone maker Baili had been seeking to ban iPhone sales contending that Apple copied their Baili 100C smartphone. Apple was still allowed to sell their products while the case was being heard in court and appeals were being filed.
China’s patent regulator agreed with Baili and imposed the ban on Apple and local reseller Zoomflight. The Chinese court that overturned the ban said the regulator did not follow proper procedure when it was imposed.
The Beijing Intellectual Property Court ruled that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the iPhone violated the 100C patented. The court also said that there was no infringement because people could easily tell the 100C apart from the iPhone 6, the key iPhone model named in the suit. However, the court stopped short of taking the patent away from Baili, a request filed by Apple, so they at least walk out with that intact.
Smartphone sales in China are a constant battle, especially with Chinese-based companies like OnePlus, Oppo, Huawei, and others leading the way. Losing this court battle would have been a blow to Apple they wouldn’t have liked, especially considering iPhone sales in the region were down 33% last year.
This court case may not be over. Baili still has the option to appeal the ruling and there could be yet another round to fight. For now, Apple can continue to sell their iPhone in one of the largest smartphone markets on the planet.
Last Updated on March 27, 2017.