Apple wins patent dispute case in China

Business & Technology

Top business and technology news for March 27, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "The selection of Carrie Lam."

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters building of Anbang Insurance Group are pictured in Beijing, China, August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

Over the weekend, a Chinese court ruled in favor of Apple in a patent dispute case with a domestic subsidiary and local retailer, according to Xinhua News Agency (in Chinese). The ruling overturned a ban, which prohibited selling Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the country. The ban was enforced last summer after Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services, a local smartphone manufacturer, accused Apple of infringing on patents for the exterior smartphone design of its 100C mobile phone. Reuters reported that the Beijing Intellectual Property Office revoked the ban and affirmed that the design of the iPhone does not violate Shenzhen Baili’s patents.

Meanwhile, Apple has been trying to boost its presence in China. The Cupertino-based company recently announced that it plans to open two new research and development centers in Shanghai and Suzhou, following the opening of its first $45 million research hub last September in Beijing’s Zhongguancun 中关村, often referred to as the country’s Silicon Valley, and another in Shenzhen.

Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited the headquarters of the bike-sharing company Ofo in Beijing and met with the company’s founding members, including CEO Dai Wei. Cook also visited the Beijing-based startup Keep, the developer of an app with the same name, which offers a workout tutorial. Zhao Ziming, an analyst based in Beijing, told the China Daily that Cook’s visit indicated that Apple has recognized “China’s research capabilities and the importance of Chinese developers to the tech giant.”