Apple has lost their legal claim to the iPhone name in Mexico

Apple has lost their legal claim to the iPhone name in Mexico
Apple may have solved their trademark problems in China, but it appears they may have a bigger problem on its hands south of the U.S. border, as a court in Mexico City has denied an injunction that would have allowed Apple to continue to sell under the iPhone brand because it violates the trademarks of iFone, a Mexican telecommunications company. The ruling could have a major impact on Apple’s phone sales in Mexico, as well as affecting the marketing and sales plans of several wireless service providers in the country, some of which were gearing up to offer the iPhone 5 to customers this weekend.

It’s not actually clear what Apple was thinking this time around – the iFone trademark was filed in Mexico in 2003, a full four years before Apple filed to trademark the iPhone. Despite the rather obvious priority issue, Apple decided to sue iFone in 2009 in an attempt to invalidate the company’s name for being too similar to the iPhone. The predictable response was a countersuit by iFone, and the court battles have been swinging in iFone’s favor ever since.

The move could prove costly to Apple in more ways than one. In addition to losing the ability to sell devices under the iPhone trademark in Mexico, iFone is also suing for damages for past infringement, asking for a minimum of 40% of all iPhone sales to date in the Mexican market. While those numbers aren’t nearly as large as they are in the U.S., it still would represent a substantial payment. It's not yet clear whether the embargo on using the iPhone name will go into effect before sales of the iPhone 5 start on Friday, or if this will trigger Apple to loosen the purse strings to negotiate a settlement with iFone, but given the circumstances it would seem that Apple has precious little leverage this time around.

Clearly lawsuits can be a double-edged sword.

source: El Universal via Electronista

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101 Comments

1. Jphones

Posts: 256; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

haha viva la revolution. Apple stop acting like its apples and pears. iFone will win because unlike you there lawsuits aren't iphoney.

3. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

I coouldnt have said it better myself...its very ironic the patent thing Apple started has come back around to bite it in its butt!

9. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

wow .. now I really wish ifone was registered in more countries. Now I love ifone lol

59. someones4

Posts: 627; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

They will lose the only thing from them that sounded original

71. MeoCao unregistered

Apple has become so arrogant it lost the sense of reality. They think they are Justice itself and allowed to do anything as they please? It's like a robber suing his victim. Well done Mexico!

52. whysoserious

Posts: 318; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

" the iFone trademark was filed in Mexico in 2003, a full four years before Apple filed to trademark the iPhone. Despite the rather obvious priority issue, Apple decided to sue iFone in 2009 in an attempt to invalidate the company’s name for being too similar to the iPhone." Oh God. I don't know if Apple is playing bully, or just being plain stupid. No wonder why Judge Koh thinks Apple and their legal team is on crack.

77. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Apple game plan: 1. Sue into submission. 2. Repeat Step 1.

68. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

#mexicanjustice

95. elnegro

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

jajajaja

82. vishu9

Posts: 252; Member since: Mar 03, 2011

Lol..Now there will be a bigger bite in that Apple logo :D

85. MeoCao unregistered

haha, you made my day

98. cdnfreak

Posts: 26; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

Actually if you want to get really technical, Cisco came up with the name iphone in 1998 for their internet phone, well before either company was even on the radar.

105. cbush1018

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 04, 2012

actually that was called IP phone.

2. gabe92

Posts: 27; Member since: Oct 25, 2012

ahaha thats what they deserve.

64. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I guess no one cares about protecting intellectual property.

66. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Maybe you didn't read the second paragraph. iFone filed their trademark back 2003 and Apple filed the trademark for iPhone in 2007. That's a four year difference. What Apple wants to do, because they have some balls, is to try to invalidate the trademark even though they files theirs four years later. This just proves you're seriously brainwashed and totally biased in EVERYTHING.

70. someones4

Posts: 627; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

In this case, they did. IFone protected their intellectual property from Apple

74. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Are you really that DUMB?? Seriously?? The Mexican company had it first - now it is spelled differently and APPLE has a ton of money - I am sure a couple billion Pesos a year may clear up the situation. Seriously, Mxy, you need to start using that brain of yours - you are starting to sound like an 8-yr old, and that is an insult to my 8 yr old son.

78. ojdidit84

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Apple didn't originally come up with the names for iOS or iPhone. Both names were taken from Cisco's VoIP phones and router/switch OS. They license both trademarks from Cisco. http://www.idownloadblog.com/2012/01/27/apple-cisco-iphone-trademark/ http://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco_and_apple_agreement_on_ios_trademark/ Just to give you a little perspective on the company that you blindly support.

96. GeekMovement unregistered

Talk about brain-washed.

4. AnTuTu

Posts: 1612; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

50% Apple has been rotten so far and old black days have been started.

57. someones4

Posts: 627; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

I love the smell of victory in the morning. I hope it makes them think twice before trying to go against other companies.

65. Mxyzptlk unregistered

This isn't victory.

67. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

It isn't for Apple.

72. someones4

Posts: 627; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

You are right, it isn't a victory. Not until, Apple has paid every company it has wronged (samsung, motorola) or reduced to the humble company it once was.

81. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

I have a feel you are Taco just diffirent name, we don't see Taco lately but you.

94. seronis

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Its a clear victory for the company that is clearly in the right.

5. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Cant defend apple on this one. The company clearly existed before the iphone did. I cant see Apple trying to claim that they got that name based on apple's ipod naming, but I dont see that going far since nobody probably even thought about Apple making a phone back in 2003.

16. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

And even if people thought Apple would make an "iPhone" back then, they had no idea it would be the wildly successful all-touch app monster we ultimately got. Early concepts were just an iPod with calling features and the familiar click wheel. There were a lot of naysayers about Apple's ability to break into the phone market as recently as 2006. So for Apple to say the iFone name was somehow obviously theirs is just arrogant.

39. cheetah2k

Posts: 2254; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Oh, but for sure there will be prior art.... Just wait, they'll find it on some old napkin Jobs wrote on in some restaurant back in 2001 - after watching 2001 A Space Odessy the movie.. HAHAHAHAHAH Effing Apple

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