Apple Expands Research Labs in China, Faces Hurdle with ‘Vision Pro’ Trademark

March 12, 2024 – Apple has announced plans to expand its applied research laboratories in China, bolstering the capabilities of its Shanghai-based research center to support the reliability, quality, and material analysis across its entire product line. This move signals the tech giant’s commitment to strengthening its foothold in the region and deepening collaborations with local suppliers.

As part of this expansion, Apple intends to establish a new applied research laboratory in Shenzhen, providing enhanced support to employees in the area and facilitating more robust testing and research capabilities for products such as iPhone, iPad, and potentially, the Apple Vision Pro. The investment in these laboratories has already exceeded 1 billion yuan and is expected to continue growing with the addition of the new facility in Shenzhen.

However, a potential roadblock for Apple’s plans to introduce Vision Pro to the Chinese market lies with Huawei. The Chinese tech giant successfully registered the “Vision Pro” trademark in China as early as May 16, 2019, with exclusive rights valid until November 27, 2031. The trademark covers goods such as LCD TVs, head-mounted virtual reality devices, and radio equipment.

This presents a challenge for Apple, as it now has two options to proceed with the Vision Pro in China: either reach a financial settlement with Huawei to acquire the trademark or rename its product. Given the current circumstances, it seems more likely that Apple will opt for the latter route.

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