Apple IPhones found to have violated Chinese rival’s patent

Beijing—Apple Inc. violated the design patents of a Chinese device maker and may have to halt sales of its latest iPhones in Beijing, the city’s intellectual property authority ruled, handing the U.S. company its latest setback in a pivotal market. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus infringe on Shenzhen Baili’s patent rights because of similarities to its 100C phone, the Beijing Intellectual Property Office wrote in its decision. Apple, whose iconic gadgets helped define the modern smartphone industry, said it’s appealing the ruling and is continuing to sell various iPhone 6 models during the process.
“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,” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said in an e-mailed statement. “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.” Apple shares fell 2.1 percent to $95.46 at 11:04 a.m. in New York Friday. They were down 7.3 percent this year through Thursday.
While the decision covers only Beijing, future lawsuits against Apple could take the case as a precedent, potentially influencing the outcomes of litigation elsewhere in China. Baili is one of scores of smartphone brands trying to cash in on the country’s mobile boom. Xu Guoxiang, the inventor who holds the patent and listed as a Baili representative on yellow-pages site czvv.com, did not answer calls seeking comment.—Agencies

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