Apple has violated the design patents of a Chinese device maker, and may suffer a halt in the sale of its latest iPhones in Beijing, according to the Intellectual Property Authority.

iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus violate on the Shenzhen Baili’s patent rights because of the similarities with 100C phone, as BIPO wrote in its decision. Apple, whose iconic gadgets define the modern smartphone market, said it is going to appeal against the ruling, and they will continue to sell iPhone in between.

IPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE models, are all available for sale today in China.

Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said in an e-mailed statement.

We appealed an administrative order from a regional patent tribunal in Beijing last month and as a result, the order has stayed pending review by the Beijing IP Court.

iPhones violated Chinese Design Patents: Beijing IP office rules
iPhones violated Chinese Design Patents: Beijing IP office rules

Important to take note of, Apple shares fell 2.1 percent to 95.46 at 11am on Friday. They were down by 7.3 percent this year.

While the decision is bound within the boundaries of Beijing only, the future lawsuits might take action against Apple as well in their own area of interest, and operations, influencing the China as a whole market.

Tim Long, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets in New York, has told Business Standard that he doesn’t think the impact of the Chinese ruling is meaningful.

We believe there have been several prior cases against US companies ruled in favour of local companies by lower courts that were later overturned by higher courts.

Long wrote in a note to clients.

We have seen dozens of court decisions banning different smartphone products over the years in many different countries. We are not aware of one ever that has resulted in an actual injunction.

The decision from the court is still pending. It might hamper the operations of Apple in China, until then, we keep taps on it.


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