Xintong Tiandi Technology 2016


Courtesy of Xintong Tiandi Technology

As improbable as it may seem from this side of the Pacific Ocean, Apple has lost a trademark suit over the "iPhone" name in China.

Xintong Tiandi Technology, which manufactures leather cases branded "IPHONE," applied to register its trademark on the name -- in the category of leather goods -- in 2007. While Apple filed its own "iPhone" trademark in 2002, that application wasn't approved until 2013. Last week, a high court in Beijing ruled that, due to the timing of the iPhone's debut in the country in 2009, its argument that the trademark was well-known there prior to 2009 did not hold water, according to Chinese regulators.

The news was first reported by Quartz.

According to the state-run news outlet Legal Daily, "evidence [was] insufficient to identify 'IPHONE' has been [a] well-known trademark of Apple Inc."

In other news from the massive country -- if you're looking for something to watch inside your now-legal leather iPhone brief, why not this army recruitment rap video for the People's Liberation Army?