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Company That Sued Apple for iPhone 6 Patent Infringement 'Barely Exists'

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Apr 12, 2001
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Shenzhen Baili, the Chinese company that claimed the iPhone 6 violated the patent of its 100c smartphone, is reported to "barely exist" following its victory in the Beijing Intellectual Property Office against Apple.

In response to Shenzhen Baili's patent lawsuit, The Wall Street Journal investigated the company, along with its parent Digione, and found that the latter company had collapsed, "brought down by buggy products, mismanagement and fierce competition, according to former employees and investors." Digione has apparently been absent from China's mobile phone market for nearly a year.

iPhone 6 (left) and Shenzhen Baili's 100c (right)

Phone calls to the company, Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services Co., ring unanswered. Its websites have been deleted. Visits to its three registered addresses found no company offices.

Baili and its parent, Digione, are part of a rapid boom and bust in China's new wave of smartphone makers. When Baili took on Apple in December 2014, telling Chinese regulators that the Cupertino, Calif., company's new models infringed on its smartphone design patents, it had bold aspirations, a big-name investor in Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc. and a team of experienced executives.
All the same, Shenzhen Baili is claiming to continue to battle Apple through its pending appeal process, and the company "is still operational in its necessary functions," according to Digione lawyer Andy Yang. The company originally filed the patent infringement claim in December 2014, shortly after the launch of the iPhone 6, but the case only recently reached the court system in Beijing.

Despite its assertion to continue going after Apple in court, the financial records of Baili and its parent company reveal that both are insolvent, with debts that greatly exceed their total assets. Former employees of the company even said that the suit against Apple was "always more a marketing ploy than a serious court case."

Despite the setback, Apple has confirmed that both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have stayed on sale in China thanks to an administrative order appeal from a regional patent tribunal in Beijing last month.

Article Link: Company That Sued Apple for iPhone 6 Patent Infringement 'Barely Exists'
 

HiVolt

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2008
776
2,924
Toronto, Canada
I still fail to see how they are even remotely similar.

As much as I hated the whole Apple vs Samsung crap, the Samsung Galaxy looked very much like the iPhone 3G at the time.

This looks nothing like the iPhone 6/6s
 
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sexiewasd

macrumors regular
Mar 14, 2012
208
2
Back in Your Head
I think that they do look very similar, and that the 100+ looks like a very nice phone. I also think that our, and apparently china's patent systems are out of control, and are a huge burden to innovation and competition.
 
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keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,270
As ridiculous as this is its karma for Apple. Apple was the ultimate patent troll a couple years ago.

Not in the slighest. Patent troll doesn't mean what you think it means.

Apple patented something. They have their patent granted. They release technology which utilises that patent. Other companies release products which infringe on those patents. Apple defend their patents.

Now, if you think that some of the elements shouldn't have been patented, then that's more an argument against the patent system. That's quite a big difference.

A patent troll would be a company that doesn't really exist. They make no products. They just collect patents, don't use them in any form, and then sue everyone who mildly infringes on it. They contribute nothing but throwing red tape in the courts, gunking up true innovation and actual products in the process, because they want to make a quick buck.
 
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Zaft

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2009
4,144
3,366
Brooklyn, NY
Not in the slighest. Patent troll doesn't mean what you think it means.

Apple patented something. They have their patent granted. They release technology which utilises that patent. Other companies release products which infringe on those patents. Apple defend their patents.

Now, if you think that some of the elements shouldn't have been patented, then that's more an argument against the patent system. That's quite a big difference.

A patent troll would be a company that doesn't really exist. They make no products. They just collect patents, don't use them in any form, and then sue everyone who mildly infringes on it. They contribute nothing but throwing red tape in the courts, gunking up true innovation and actual products in the process, because they want to make a quick buck.
Yes thats my mistake. Nonetheless a patent for swipe to unlock? Apple has sued for some petty things, some are legit but a lot were not.
 
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2457282

Suspended
Dec 6, 2012
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As I have said in all the other threads related to this, Apple needs to be careful. I get that Apple needs to find a way to sell in CHina and Open stores since most of its manufacturing is happening in China. Until it can diversify its operations to India and Brazil, they seem to be stuck playing these games with China. Apple should get aggressive about finding partners in other parts of the world. Otherwise they will continue to be at the mercy of the government that seems to change the rules at will.
 
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keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,270
Yes thats my mistake. Nonetheless a patent for swipe to unlock? Apple has sued for some petty things, some are legit but a lot were not.

Well then why would the competitors use swipe to unlock in their products? There are many other ways to unlock a phone. A button. Swirl your finger around in a circle to unlock. Type in a passcode.

The reason they used it is because Apple thought of something really obvious, but effective. A gesture that couldn't unlock a phone accidentally when in your pocket, but which is easy and intuitive to do when you do want to unlock it.

The competitors knew that was patented. They used it anyway, because they couldn't think of anything just as effective. They hadn't thought of it before, even in its most simplistic form. So yes, I very much agree with Apple suing over that. It's not like there wasn't a different way to do it.

You might see it as something simple and natural. It's easy to say that with hindsight. Even so much as a swipe unlock had a lot of thought and time that goes into it, especially when you consider what the phone industry looked like before 2007.
 
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Waxhead138

macrumors 6502
May 18, 2012
440
510
I find it funny that the term "marketing ploy", as stated by the one former employee, is the Chinese translation of "Shakedown." Cultural differences or not, I find it sad that a Chinese court, assuming they saw the financial state of affairs of the company that brought this lawsuit, let this pass. Even under an attitude of "China first" that is just sad.

Edit: Even the Chinese should have limits....it's one thing to culturally accept bribes as a way of doing business....but this is just flat out embarrassing on the world stage that their court system allowed this to get this far.
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,640
14,481
In between a rock and a hard place
As I have said in all the other threads related to this, Apple needs to be careful. I get that Apple needs to find a way to sell in CHina and Open stores since most of its manufacturing is happening in China. Until it can diversify its operations to India and Brazil, they seem to be stuck playing these games with China. Apple should get aggressive about finding partners in other parts of the world. Otherwise they will continue to be at the mercy of the government that seems to change the rules at will.
100% on point with Apple's need to diversify it's manufacturing. Just not Brazil. Just not right now. Brazil is currently a ****-show politically and economically. They can't even pay for the Olympics and the infrastructure there is pretty crappy. Right now, China is the tail wagging the dog. Unfortunately, I think as long as the ledger sheet says profitable, Apple will continue to get wagged just like every other company doing business with China.

On topic: Although I think this Chinese company is simply reaching for dollars, they don't exactly fit the definition of a patent troll as we've come to define them. They actually had a product on the market when the suit was initiated in 2014. The slow stroll through the court system notwithstanding, they sort of fall in a different category from the standard NPE. I'm not debating the merits of their case; just stating that calling them a patent troll is not exactly factual.
 
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Shasterball

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2007
878
55
Not in the slighest. Patent troll doesn't mean what you think it means.

Apple patented something. They have their patent granted. They release technology which utilises that patent. Other companies release products which infringe on those patents. Apple defend their patents.

Now, if you think that some of the elements shouldn't have been patented, then that's more an argument against the patent system. That's quite a big difference.

A patent troll would be a company that doesn't really exist. They make no products. They just collect patents, don't use them in any form, and then sue everyone who mildly infringes on it. They contribute nothing but throwing red tape in the courts, gunking up true innovation and actual products in the process, because they want to make a quick buck.

Hmmm, I think you may not know what a patent troll is. Whether someone practices a patent does not make them a patent troll (though a lot of patent trolls do not practice). A patent troll is someone who asserts a patent, without a basis, or beyond its scope, in an attempt to make a buck off a settlement since litigation is too expensive. That is terrible.

If a company does not practice, they should be - and are -- allowed to assert their patent against someone who does practice. Why should a small company who invented something be precluded from enforcing a patent simply because they cannot manufacture (possibly because others are infringing)?

If you have a house in another state that you don't use, would you be OK with people walking over your fence and living in your house simply because you are not using it? No, you would want people to be held liable for trespassing, regardless of whether you are using the house. Same with non-practicing companies...
 
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827538

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2013
1,550
1,639
I realise China is a huge market but if the Chinese courts don't respect western companies and their IP then why don't the likes of Apple threaten to start producing their products elsewhere?
If I was Apple I would be doing feasibility studies on opening factories elsewhere (I know Pegatron/Foxcon etc build the devices), perhaps with greater automation they could be built in the West again?
 
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