China is known for copycats of numerous western products. However this time, the tables have turned as Apple has been ordered to cease selling its iPhone 6 smartphones in Beijing, China.
Bloomberg reported a Beijing Intellectual Property Office ruling that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus violate the design patent of a Chinese phone, the Shenzen Baili 100C smartphone, and that Apple must cease sales of both models within the city.
Very little information is available about the company, but China International Capital Corp. appeared to show the company had $4.5 million in 2013 operating income.
Beijing Business Today could not find many details about Baili either; writing that the company did not seem to be a patent troll, but that it has had a long gap in introducing new products and does not have an official website.
Apple has since issued a statement:
“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. We appealed an administrative order from a regional patent tribunal in Beijing last month and as a result the order has been stayed pending review by the Beijing IP Court.”
The claim is more likely an attempt to gain a financial settlement from the behemoth U.S. company as Apple has been known to settle lawsuits rather than go through a protracted litigation, much less in China.
This particular ruling currently applies only within Beijing, a city of some 22M people, but could set a precedent for the rest of the country if not overturned.