Apple loses trademark battle to iFone in Mexico

iFone, a Mexican telecom services and systems company, says that a court has denied Apple’s suit against the company’s use of the phonetically similar brand, citing earlier trade name registration.

By Digit NewsDesk | Published 05 Nov 2012 15:55 IST
Apple loses trademark battle to iFone in Mexico
Apple loses trademark battle to iFone in Mexico

iFone, a Mexican telecom services and systems company, says that a court has denied Apple’s suit against the company’s use of the phonetically similar brand, citing earlier trade name registration.

The Mexican firm claims it registered the iFone trademark four years before Apple introduced the iPhone brand in the country in 2007, via operator Telcel.

iFone has also countersued for damages, and stands to be awarded up to 40 percent of iPhone sales revenue in Mexico, apart from possibly blocking the use of the iPhone brand in the country.

Apple owns Class 9 and Class 28 trademarks for the iPhone in Mexico, which cover electronic game devices. The fruity giant filed a lawsuit in 2009, contesting the Class 38 trademark owned by iFone in the country, which covers telecommunication services.

Despite the iPhone technically not falling under the telecommunication services sector, Apple’s services such as iMessage and FaceTime could be said to, giving Apple the starting point for their suit.

iFone however disagreed, declaring that they were actively using the trademark, and thwarted Apple’s attempts to register their own Class 38 trademark for the iPhone in the country.

Apple’s has been quite active in litigation for the past few years, with the Samsung patent infringement case the most high profile in recent times. If the court decides to ban Apple from using the iPhone trademark in Mexico, it could be a serious blow for the company.

Source: TOI

Digit NewsDesk
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iPhone iFone Apple iPhone iFone Mexico Mexico litigation class action lawsuit lawsuit trademark patent
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