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Decision made in Chinese intellectual property case involving Apple

Sometimes, intellectual property disputes come up for a U.S. company in connection to its operations and activities in China. Recently, a Chinese court made a ruling in such a dispute involving Apple and its iPhone.

The dispute was a patent dispute. A Chinese company alleged that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus infringed on a design patent it has in China. It brought the accusations to a Beijing patent regulator. The regulator ultimately issued an order banning a local retailer and Apple’s Chinese subsidiary from selling these phones.

Apple brought a challenge of this ban to a Chinese court. The court found that the patent regulator didn’t act properly procedurally. It also ruled that the above-mentioned iPhones did not infringe on the patent in question. Based on these findings, the court revoked the patent regulators’ ban.

As this case illustrates, what happens in a Chinese intellectual property dispute can impact fundamental and keys thing for a U.S. company that has business in China, such as whether it can sell its products in the Chinese market.

Given this, how a U.S. company responds when an intellectual property dispute comes up for it in China could have some significant long-term ramifications for it when it comes to its business in China. Now, the Chinese legal system and its intellectual property laws have many unique aspects. A U.S. company that is facing a Chinese intellectual property dispute may be unfamiliar with these aspects and thus unsure of what options it has to respond to the matter. Skilled U.S.-China business lawyers can provide U.S. businesses with some clarity on this front and give them explanations of what legal steps they can take in China in regards to such a dispute.

Source: Reuters, “Chinese court rules in favor of Apple in local design patent disputes,” March 25, 2017

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