In a much-awaited judgement, the Chinese tech giant Xiaomi lost an important case against Apple. The case was based on Xiaomi’s business prospects in the European Union regarding the registration of ‘Mi Pad’ as a business trademark for its series of Android-based tablets. Although, it wasn’t a lot to ask as the company was focusing at registering the term ‘Mi Pad’ to be known as an Android tablet just as Apple has registered it’s ‘iPad’ for iOS based tablets.
The incident took place three years ago when Xiaomi followed the process of nomenclature of its Android based tablet, Mi Pad with the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office). When Apple came to know about the news, it reacted to Xiaomi’s application by formally complaining to the EUIPO with supporting statements. Apple said that it was Xiaomi’s ploy to confuse the customers intentionally.
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The court has ruled in favor of Apple Inc. by restraining Xiaomi from selling the device as Mi Pad in the region. According to the EU General Court, the second highest court of arbitration, the nomenclature resembles too much with the iPad branding of Apple’s very own iOS based tablet. The statement was passed while banning Xiaomi to sell out the product with the controversial name. According to the judgement:
“The dissimilarity between the signs at issue, resulting from the presence of the additional letter ‘m’ at the beginning of ‘Mi Pad’, is not sufficient to offset the high degree of visual and phonetic similarity between the two signs.”
The verdict certainly disappointed Xiaomi, but it doesn’t seem to have settled with the ruling. The Chinese tech giant has one more door to knock, which is EU’s highest court – The Court of Justice of The European Union. As far as the official statement is concerned, both the companies haven’t aired any word regarding the ruling. It seems unclear whether Xiaomi will let go of the issue or fight further. If Xiaomi decides to abide by the General Court, it has to rebrand the device for the entire EU market.
Overall, Apple may have won the case of iPad and Mi Pad, but it is fighting a bigger battle against Qualcomm. Qualcomm is accusing the chipmaker of contravening eight of their patents, which are related to battery life management. On the other hand, the San-Diego based company has also accused the Cupertino giant of copyright infringements and demanded the USITC (United States International Trade Commission) to ban the sales and import of GSM variants of the iPhone X, 8, 8 PLUS, 7 and 7 PLUS. The verdict on the said case may take time, it is wait and watch till then.
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