By  on May 8, 2016

Last week, Apple lost the exclusive rights to the “iPhone” trademark in China, and will now have to share it with a Beijing-based leather products maker, which sells a number of leather products such as smartphone cases and handbags under the name “IPHONE.”

Although this may seem like a worrying verdict for foreign brands in China, new ones are able to escape the pitfalls of traditional and established trademarks if due diligence has been applied. “Brands who are not fast enough to register their name in China can easily see their trademark registered by a local producer. This was very common years ago but it’s a rare sight these days, since it’s become quite a standard practice for a brand to register a name in China upon inception anywhere else in the world,” said Andrea Fenn, founder of Fireworks, a digital consulting agency based in China.

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