Apple has lost a trademark case against Chinese leather good company Xintong Tiandi over the use of the "IPHONE" name in the country. Apple moved to trademark the name in 2002, but it took until 2013 for the vendor to get an approval under the Class 9: Electrical and Scientific Apparatus category. Meanwhile, Xintong Tiandi trademarked the "IPHONE" name in 2010, which was granted under Class 18: Leather goods.


Apple brought the case against Xintong Tiandi in 2012 as it tried to secure exclusive rights to the 'IPHONE" name in China, but the case was dismissed by the trademark authority as well as a lower Beijing court. Apple submitted an appeal, which was turned down by the Beijing Municipal High People's Court, according to Legal Daily. Xintong already sells several accessories on its website with the IPHONE branding.

Following the ruling, Xintong Tiandi took to its website to talk about how the verdict was a reflection of a "free market." The statement, as translated by quartz, reads:

We will also make full achievement of the 'iphone' trademark, and work together [with Apple] to benefit more iphone consumers.

This isn't the first time Apple lost a trademark case in China. In 2012, the company paid $60 million to local vendor Proview Technology to secure the iPad name. More recently, the company's iTunes and iBooks services have been shut down in the country.