WSJ: Company suing Apple in China has no phone, no office and "barely exists"

WSJ: Company suing Apple in China has no phone, no office and
Almost a week ago, we told you how Apple had seemingly infringed on a design patent held by an unknown Chinese smartphone manufacturer called Shenzhen Baili. The latter requested an injunction on sales of the Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus in the country, a request granted by Beijing’s intellectual property regulator. China's property office released a statement saying that "The Apple's (sic) iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have minor differences from Baili's 100C. The differences are so tiny that the average customer could not notice. So, this case falls into the patent rights protection category." For the moment, Apple was able to wrangle a stay on the ruling as it appeals.

While working on its appeal, a process which could take months, Apple is allowed to continue selling its wares in the country. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal has been checking out the plaintiff, Shenzhen Baili. What the Journal discovered was that Baili and its parent company Digione "barely exist."

The company apparently doesn't make the Baili 100C smartphone anymore. That is the model that it claims Apple stole the iPhone 6 design from. In fact, based on the WSJ story, Baili doesn't seem to be doing much of anything except protecting its patents. No one answers phone calls to the company, there are no offices at any of the three addresses it has registered, and Baili's parent Digione has been brought down by problems with its devices, which have been called "buggy."

All that is left is the patent portfolio. The patents are registered in Baili's name, and the goal appears to be to force Apple into some type of settlement. Digione lawyer Andy Yang says that Baili will continue to take on Apple in court, possibly adding the newer Apple iPhone 6s and Apple iPhone 6s Plus to the suit. And while the plaintiffs no longer make phones, Yang says that this has nothing to do with the case in front of the court. "The issue here is not whether Digione makes phones anymore, but whether the iPhone 6 infringes on this patent," he said.

The lawsuit has become a lottery ticket for Digione and Baili. China remain a very important market for Apple, perhaps their most important with India coming on fast in the rear-view mirror. If it comes down to it, Apple might have to dip into petty cash to make this nuisance go away. And that could mean a huge pay day for a company without a phone, offices, or a current product.


source: WSJ

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12 Comments

1. blueghost211

Posts: 57; Member since: Oct 19, 2015

Patent trolls at it again. I'm no fan of iPhones, but this is ridiculous. More than likely they'll see some hush money. Smh

2. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

Independence day!!!

3. peace247 unregistered

Tit for Tat.

4. aegislash

Posts: 1495; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Are these people on crack? The only thing that even remotely resembles an iPhone on this device is the camera.

8. kajam

Posts: 220; Member since: Jun 24, 2015

It must be the same crack apple guys been smoking when they sue samsung before.

5. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

yeah... its same except round button.. but I'm against all kind of patent troll, including this one, rounded rectangle, slide to unlock, button placement, and patent that impede innovations (one company patent something that have a chance to be usefull but they didnt develop it any further, while the other company that have resource and experience in that field cant develop it any further because they didnt hold the patent and need to pay, while actually they're the one doing all hard work)

6. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Yet real enough to sue them. Karma is a bitch you reap what you sow.

7. aikoo

Posts: 129; Member since: Feb 27, 2016

This is irrelevant but kinda like Aaliyah's record label.

10. Bernoulli

Posts: 4360; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

after this lawsuit they'll be sure to have an office, phone, secretary and cash left over.

11. Tizo101

Posts: 541; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

If apple can sue for shapes then these guys are well within their rights even if they 'barely exist' (whatever that means coz if something exist it does - there are no degrees)

13. 0kax0el0

Posts: 238; Member since: Nov 15, 2012

Let me see, it doesn't have a big round home button that doubles as a finger print scanner, doesn't have antena bands, camera and flash are vertically aligned instead of horizontal, sim tray on the left instead of the right, loud speaker on the back instead of the bottom, volume rocker on right instead of left... saying "The differences are so tiny that the average customer could not notice" it's a big stretch, just the big front button should give away these are different devices... but, you know, patent trolls...

14. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

No big deal, just the patent ogre getting a taste of its own medicine...way beyond deserved.

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