Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A recent case on Apple Trademark Agreement in China- jan 2010

History:The apple’s iPhone which always had trouble with its name. First, it was Linksys (acquired by CISCO) who had a device called iPhone, the company also owned the registered Trademark on the name iPhone. Cisco and Apple finally resolved their dispute involving the “iPhone” trademark.

Players: 1. Apple 2 .Hanwang technology

Issue arises: The similarity between the terms "i-phone" trademark owned by Hanwang's and "iPhone" trademark owned by Apple. Similarity between the names could have made the sale of Apple's handset illegal

Now in china: Apple applied to register the iPhone trademark in China in 2002, but that application was limited to computer hardware and software, not mobile phones. A year later (three years before the iPhone's introduction), Chinese manufacturer Hanwang Technology applied for the trademark "i-phone" for a e-readers and other devices in China in 2004, when it also launched a handset by that name that it doesn't sell any product with the name i-phone anymore; however, it was a major legal issue for Apple to launch the iPhone in China with its global brand name

How it solved: Hanwang Technology Company and Apple had reached an agreement over the trademark but both have declined to give details. The new owner of the trademark application has changed to Apple. The record shows Apple as the applicant for the trademark iPhone. It also displays a note which says that the trademark has been transferred. There is no official statement from Apple or Hanwang over this agreement. But In the Cisco-Apple dispute, the two companies released a public statement about the agreement. The two companies had signed an agreement which allowed them to use the “iPhone” trademark on their products throughout the world.

Other fact: Apple launched the iPhone in China in late October with partner carrier China Unicom, it had sold 100,000 iPhone’s in the nation of one billion . The iPhone sold in China are stripped of Wi-Fi to comply with local regulations, which has driven some users to buy versions of the Smartphone offered outside China instead. Those iPhone are brought into China informally from other regions and widely sold at electronics bazaars.

Conclusion: The new owner of the trademark application has changed to Apple

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