Xiaomi filed an application in 2014 with the Intellectual Property Office of the European Union (EUIPO) to register Mi Pad as a trademark in the EU. Apple challenged the form on the grounds of English-speaking consumers might read Mi Pad as “my pad, ” and therefore this sounds too close to iPad.
The General Court of EU said the complaint upheld by EUIPO in 2016 was correct, therefore not allowing Xiaomi to trademark its tablet series.
“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,” the Court said in a statement.
Xiaomi can still appeal in front of EU’s highest court – the Court of Justice of the EU, based in Luxembourg.