China bans iPhone 6 & 6 Plus sales, cites patent infringement by Apple

Apple has suffered another setback in China, as Beijing intellectual property regulators have prohibited the Cupertino tech giant from selling its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models in the city stating that the company has violated the design patents of a Chinese device maker. Meanwhile, Apple said it will appeal against the ruling.

Recently, the Beijing Intellectual Property Office asserted that both the iPhones models breach the patent rights owned by Baili, a Shenzhen-based smartphone manufacturer, CNBC reported. According to a ruling passed by the regulator, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets are literal copies of Baili's 100C smartphone.

Soon after the ban, Apple shares dropped 1.3 percent to $96.30 at 9:32 a.m. in New York on Friday. Earlier, the stocks were 7.3 percent down this year through Thursday.

Baili is one of the smartphone brands in China and, apparently, the patent belongs to Xu Guoxiang. However, Apple has the option to appeal against the ruling to hold off the ban on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sale by moving the Higher People's Court in Beijing or the Supreme People's Court.

On the other hand, it ruling of the Beijing IP office is upheld by the higher authorities or Apple does not appeal further, theoretically, Apple will not be able to sell its current flagship handsets in Beijing any more, Bloomberg quoted Bird and Bird partner and IP specialist Ted Chwu as saying.

According to reports, a number of stores have already stopped selling the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus since the last few months and are promoting other Apple smartphone models. On the other hand, Apple Inc. issued a statement on Friday stating the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well as iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE models are all available for sale in China.

The statement further said that Apple has appealed an administrative order from a regional patent tribunal in Beijing last month, and consequently the order has been stayed awaiting review by the Beijing IP Court, the CNBC report said.

The recent ruling by the Beijing IP regulator is seen as another impediment for Apple in the company's largest market outside of the United States. In April, China also shut down Apple's iBooks and iTunes movies service, as regulators claimed that the Cupertino tech giant did not have the requisite licenses.

Watch "China bans iPhone 6 model sales" below:

Source: Yibada

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