A Chinese court ruled that a local firm can continue to use the iPhone name on its wallets and purses.
Xintong Tiandi Technology (Beijing) has the right to use the brand across a range of leather goods, according to a ruling in the Beijing Municipal High People’s Court.
The ruling was reported in the official publication of China’s Justice Ministry, which is called the Legal Daily.
Reuters noted that Xintong Tiandi adopted the iPhone trademark for its leather goods in 2007, the year the mobile device first went on sale. Apple has been disputing the Chinese firm’s right to use it since 2012.
Also in 2012, Apple paid $60 million to Proview International Holding to settle a dispute over the iPad trademark.
One legal observer pointed out to Bloomberg that Apple was likely to appeal to a higher court.
“Apple could appeal this case to the Supreme People’s Court in Beijing and they probably will,” said Ted Chwu, a partner and lawyer specialising in intellectual property at Bird & Bird in Hong Kong.
“If you’ve got the budget to make a huge commercial splash then you should expect that splash to attract attention in the wrong way,” he added.