Apple's not the only one allowed to use the 'iPhone' name

Apple's not the only one allowed to use the 'iPhone' name

Head over to China and you can pick up a wide variety of fake iPhones, and while these remain dodgy knock-offs you'll also see the iPhone moniker on other products - namely leather phone cases and handbags.

That's because Chinese firm Xintong Tiandi Technology has been using 'IPHONE' for a number of years on its leather goods, after filing a trademark in 2007 which was approved in 2010.

Apple meanwhile filed its own trademark in China back in 2002 for 'iPhone' relating to electronic goods, but it was only approved in 2013.

Don't stop me now

Cupertino didn't take too kindly to another firm using the iPhone name, even if it wasn't producing rival handsets, and after two failed cases (one with the trademark authority, the other in a lower Beijing court) it appealed to the higher court to try and regain full control.

Unfortunately for Apple the court ruled in favor of Xintong Tiandi, and it's free to continue using the IPHONE name on its range of leather goods.

This is another body blow to Apple's China ambitions, as it's already seen its iBooks and iTunes services shut down in the country after the government insisted that all content shown in China must be stored on Chinese servers.

The good news is other smartphone manufacturers still cannot use the iPhone name legally on their products, so if you find yourself considering an iPhone 800 purchase on the streets of Shanghai you can be safe in the knowledge that it's totally unofficial.


John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.