A European Union court has ruled in favor of Apple, saying that Xiaomi cannot register its Mi Pad tablet as a trademark. The court reportedly says that Mi Pad reads like “My Pad,” which it says sounds too similar to Apple’s “iPad”, and so the trademark has been denied.
Reuters reports that European Union’s second-highest court, the General Court, ruled that Mi Pad should not be registered as a trademark because consumers were likely to be confused by the similarity of the signs. The General Court added that the extra letter “M” isn’t enough to differentiate the Mi Pad from the iPad in terms of visual presentation.
“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,” Reuters reported the Court as saying in a statement.
Xiaomi filed an application in 2014 with the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to register Mi Pad as an EU trademark. Apple subsequently lodged a complaint that the EUIPO upheld in 2016 on the grounds that consumers would think Mi Pad was a variation on Apple’s iPad trademark.
This is not the first time Apple and Xiaomi are in a riff. In 2014, Apple criticised Xiaomi for coming up with phone designs that were too similar to the iPhone.