The European Union's second-highest court, the General Court, ruled that the 'Mi Pad' should not be registered as a trademark because consumers were likely to be confused by the similarity with the 'iPad' sign.
"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 on Tuesday.
Apple brough the case in the court in order to prevent Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi from registering its "Mi Pad" tablet computer as an EU trademark. In 2014, Xiaomi filed an application in 2014 with the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to register Mi Pad as an EU trademark.
The EUIPO in 2016 sided with Apple on the grounds that consumers would think Mi Pad was a variation on Apple's iPad trademark.
Xiaomi can appeal against the ruling at the EU's highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union.