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OPPO infringed intellectual property of Tom Ford

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On Christmas Day 2020, we reported that OPPO had patented a rollable smartphone concept design in collaboration with Tom Ford, a popular American fashion designer and filmmaker. Now, a couple of months later, it turns out that the Chinese tech company has actually infringed the intellectual property of Tom Ford.

Oppo X Tom Ford slider smartphone

LetsGoDigital was the first to spot this patent. As per the publication, Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications filed this concept design patent with the CNIPA (China National Intellectual Property Administration) on February 24, 2020. This means the company filed the patent two weeks after the announcement of Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne Edition.

A few days after LetsGoDigital’s article went live, Tom Ford International LLC filed a claim with the publication to take down all the images. The fashion firm issued the following statement.

“There is no collaboration between Tom Ford and OPPO. There is no such product being developed. In addition, the images include improper and misleading use of the TOM FORD trademark.”

Interestingly, even OPPO gave a similar statement.

“We can confirm that there is no collaboration between OPPO and Tom Ford.”

This begs the question, Why did then OPPO use the ‘TOM FORD’ trademark? Our guess is that the company might have gone ahead and patented the design even before initiating the talks on partnership. The firm might have considered this decision seeing the popularity of Samsung’s collaboration with Thom Browne.

Additionally, the images in the patent documentation also use iPhone 11’s official wallpaper with minute changes in colors. This was yet another red flag in the patent and we wonder why OPPO decided to submit a patent with both Apple and Tom Ford’s intellectual properties.

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What are your thoughts on OPPO infringing Tom Ford’s intellectual property? Do let us know in the comment section below.

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