The issue is that, Xiaomi filed an application with Intellectual Property Office of the European Union (EUIPO) in 2014 to register MI Pad as a trademark in the EU. Apple challenged the form that English-speaking customers might read Mi Pad as “My pad” and therefore, it sounds too close to iPad.
The issue is a bit funny as Apple is trying to protect its property brand name. However, the General Court of EU said the complaint upheld by EUIPO was correct, therefore not allowing Xiaomi to trademark its tablet series.
“The presence of “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.
Moreover, Xiaomi can still appeal in front of Court of Justice of the EU, based in Luxembourg which is the highest EU’s court.