Chinese Regulator Accuses Apple Of Smartphone Patent Theft With iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus

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Well, we didn’t see this one coming. Often times, it’s American companies that are crying foul when it comes to Chinese companies ripping off their designs. However, one of the most vocal protectors of its intellectual property is finding itself under fire in China, and that company is none other than Apple.

The Beijing Intellectual Property Office has found that Apple has infringed on the design patents of the Shenzhen Baili 100C smartphone. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are listed as the guilty parties in the infringement, and surprisingly, the virtually identically designed iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus escaped scrutiny (for now).

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According to CNBC, the ruling only affects iPhone 6 and 6 Plus smartphones sold within Beijing. Apple, of course, disagrees with the judgement against it, and has already filed an appeal. In a statement to CNBC, Apple writes:

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well as iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE models are all available for sale today in China. We appealed an administrative order from a regional patent tribunal in Beijing last month and as a result the order has been stayed pending review by the Beijing IP Court.

To be honest, we’re not really seeing the design similarities between the two other than the fact that they both have rounded slab shapes. All of the other details are different, with the Shenzhen Baili 100C seemingly including a plastic rear casing whereas the iPhone 6 family uses an aluminum unibody design.

This ruling comes just a month after Apple inexplicably lost the exclusive right to use the IPHONE name in China.