Apple is facing a lawsuit in China from a local clothing brand, which argues that Apple is infringing on its design trademark with its logo for App Store.
Apple changed the icon for the App Store in August this year — jettisoning the previous image showing a ruler, pencil and paintbrush crossing over to form an “A” shape, in favor of a simplified version of the same image. Unfortunately, clothing brand Kon has been using a similar image dating back to 2009, supposed to show skeletons bones symbolizing triumph over death.
Kon says that it owns the trademark to its logo, which is similar to Apple’s, only with squared-off, rather than rounded edges. It is demanding that Apple publicly apologizes for infringing on Chinese copyright law, and also that it pays damages. The case has been accepted by the Beijing People’s Court, and a judgement is likely to be made soon.
Copyright issues in China
This isn’t the first time that Apple has run into copyright issues in China. In 2012 the company paid $60 million to resolve a dispute over the iPad trademark with the Chinese company Proview.
More recently, in 2016, Apple was stripped of the exclusive iPhone trademark in China, after losing a long legal battle against a Chinese company which used the name (somewhat confusingly) to sell handbags, wallets, purses, and smartphone cases. Despite Apple having launched the original iPhone prior to the Beijing-based company, it nonetheless filed an “IPHONE” trademark for leather goods on September 29, 2007.
We’ll keep you updated on this App Store case as it continues to evolve. While we’re not legal experts, would Kon really have a case against Apple considering that they are operating in different industries and sectors, much like the existence of the iPhone (smartphone) wasn’t enough to stop a leather goods company using the name to describe its own products? We guess we’ll find out!
Source: Phone Radar
Via: The Verge