Apple has been ordered to halt the sales of its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in Beijing by a Chinese authority who deemed the American tech giant has copied the designs of a Chinese smartphone.
The Beijing Intellectual Property Bureau recently ruled the California-based company had infringed the patent right of 100C, a handset produced by a company called Baili based in Shenzhen, southern China.
Apple and its distribution partner in Beijing, Zhongfu Telecom Equipment, have appealed against the ruling to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, reported the People's Daily Online.
According to the report, Shenzhen Baili Marketing Service Company claimed that Apple had based the designs of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on their smartphone product, 100 Plus.
They requested the Beijing Intellectual Property Bureau to demand Apple and its distribution partner to stop selling iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Baili submitted a patent application to the Chinese authority for its 100 Plus smartphone on January 13, 2014, according to The Paper, nine months before Apple released its iPhone 6.
The application was approved in July 2014.
On May 10, the Beijing Intellectual Property Bureau concluded that Apple had infringed Baili's patent.
A statement from the bureau said: 'Although iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have minor differences from Baili's 100 Plus, they are so subtle that average customers would not notice.
'So, this case falls into the patent rights protection category.'
The bureau also ordered Apple and Zhongfu Telecom Equipment to stop selling the two models in its ruling area Beijing, the Chinese capital, according to Article 60 in Chinese Patent Law.
Baili is a little-known company, without an official website.
Unlike other Chinese smartphone brands, such as Xiaomi and Meizu, Baili's products are hard to find on the mainstream market.
On the other hand, Apple's products are hugely popular in China.
The opening of Apple stores in different Chinese city usually attracts an entourage of cult Apple fans who would queue for hours or even days in order to be the first one to step into the shops.