Huawei's HarmonyOS 2021 Rollout Faces Major Setback After Chinese Court Rejects Trademark Argument

© REUTERS / ALY SONGA Huawei logo is seen at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai, China February 23, 2021
A Huawei logo is seen at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai, China February 23, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.05.2021
The news comes nearly a week before a major partners summit event in Shanghai for the Shenzhen-based tech firm, and weeks after a major statement from China's top politician on strengthening intellectual property rights, the Chinese media reported.

Huawei Technologies has faced fresh setbacks after problems over the name of its registered mobile operating system, the South China Morning Post reported on Thursday.

The Beijing Intellectual Property Court rejected a lawsuit from the Chinese tech giant on Wednesday, with the latter launching a court challenge against the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA).

In this July 15, 2020, file photo, visitors wearing masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus look at the latest products at a Huawei store in Beijing. China accused Washington of damaging global trade with sanctions that threaten to cripple tech giant Huawei and said Tuesday it will protect Chinese companies but gave no indication of possible retaliation - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.03.2021
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According to the report, Huawei had applied for a trademark in May 2019 for its HongmengOS (HarmonyOS) operating system.

But the CNIPA rejected the application, stating it could potentially confuse consumers as a cosmetics firm in Beijing and software company in Hebei had previously registered the trademark in 2010.

Huawei said the HongmengOS label had "unshakeable popularity" and was widely backed by the Chinese, adding the name was linked with the Chinese tech firm.

But Chinese courts rejected the argument due to the firm failing to prove it had built a reputation with the name. Huawei did not immediately respond for comment to the SCMP.

The news comes amid an ongoing US trade war with China, with the world's largest IT equipment provider facing major sanctions and blacklisting by Washington as well as losing access to Google Mobile Services (GMS).

Huawei had previously funded the development of the operating system with tens of millions of USD in August 2019, following further Trump-era restrictions and being placed on an Entity List in May of the same year, it added.

Huawei CEO Richard Yu displays a new HUAWEI MateBook X Pro laptop at the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019 - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.01.2021
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HarmonyOS was set to be deployed across nearly 400 million devices in 2021, including smartphones, TVs, speakers, and earphones, among other things.

According to reports, Huawei will allow Chinese smartphone firms to use HarmonyOS on their devices if banned from GMS, Richard Yu, company chief executive of BG said in a statement in January.

The news follows an article by Chinese President Xi Jinping published in the journal Qiushi in late April calling for stronger intellectual property as well as efforts to boost innovation in the country.

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