Apple Wins EU Trademark Case Against Xiaomi and its 'Mi Pad' Tablet

Tuesday December 5, 2017 3:24 AM PST by Tim Hardwick

Apple Tuesday won the right to prevent Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi from registering its "Mi Pad" mobile tablet device as an EU trademark because the name has been deemed too similar to Apple's iPad (via Reuters).

The General Court, the European Union's second highest, ruled that registering Mi Pad as a trademark was not in the public interest, as consumers were likely to be confused by the similarity of the signs.

"The dissimilarity between the signs at issue, resulting from the presence of the additional letter 'm' at the beginning of "Mi Pad", is not sufficient to offset the high degree of visual and phonetic similarity between the two signs," the Court said in a statement.

The decision comes three years after Xiaomi filed an application with the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to register Mi Pad as a trademark, which prompted Apple to lodge a complaint. The EUIPO sided with Apple's view, based on the grounds that Mi Pad could be misconstrued as a variation of the iPad trademark.

The court agreed with the EUIPO's decision and said English-speaking consumers were likely to understand the prefix "mi" as meaning "my" and therefore pronounce the "i" of Mi Pad and iPad in the same way.

Xiaomi could appeal against the ruling at the EU's highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union, but so far no statement on today's decision has been given by the Chinese mobile maker.

Xiaomi's expansion into Europe kicked off last month when it began selling its smartphones in Spain. The company has managed to become China's fourth largest mobile vendor by sales and has launched in dozens of other countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Ukraine, as part of a $1 billion overseas expansion drive.

Its devices, ranging from smartphones to tablets, have been publicly criticized in the past for heavily borrowing design elements from Apple's iPhones and iPads and adopting marketing materials tactics similar to Apple's.

Top Rated Comments

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30 months ago

('https://www.macrumors.com/2017/12/05/apple-wins-eu-trademark-case-against-xiaomi/')


Its devices, ranging from smartphones to tablets, have been publicly criticized ('http://www.businessinsider.com/xiaomi-and-apple-products-side-by-side-iphone-mi-note-copycat-theft-2015-4') in the past for heavily borrowing design elements from Apple's iPhones and iPads and adopting marketing materials tactics similar to Apple's.

Article Link: Apple Wins EU Trademark Case Against Xiaomi and its 'Mi Pad' Tablet ('https://www.macrumors.com/2017/12/05/apple-wins-eu-trademark-case-against-xiaomi/')

Sooooo.. Just like every other phone and tablet maker then? Everyone copies Apple, just look what happened when the iPhone was released, and Samsung? This is not news, it’s kinda sad!! Glad to see Apple winning these cases. Just wish it would hold more weight to win these things than money, instead of just paying them billions like Samsung they should be forced to stop using the tech they blatantly stole in their device and invent their own. That would be a win!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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30 months ago

Everyone copies Apple, just look what happened when the iPhone was released....

Let's not start this falsehood so early in the morning.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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30 months ago

Let's not start this falsehood so early in the morning.

There’s never a wrong time for truth. :)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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30 months ago

True, which is why his premise that "Everyone copies Apple, look at the iPhone..." is complete bs. There is TONS of prior art out there (the LG Prada being one of the most prominent) that invalidates the "Everyone copies iPhone" meme.

Yes, but no one copied the LG Prada, so technically "Everyone copies Apple" is accurate here. No one said Apple was there first. Either way, these days it's pretty clear that everyone does try to copy them in a lot of ways, especially the whole _____ Pay phenomenon and that dopey Bixby thing.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
30 months ago
Not that I’m siding with Xiaomi’s legendary copying, but the “Mi pad” is phonetically pronounced “MEE Pad” .. not that anyone reading it outside China knows that.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
30 months ago

There’s never a wrong time for truth. :)

True, which is why his premise that "Everyone copies Apple, look at the iPhone..." is complete bs. There is TONS of prior art out there (the LG Prada being one of the most prominent) that invalidates the "Everyone copies iPhone" meme.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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