Apple wins lawsuit in Mexico over use of phonetic iPhone name

Apple wins lawsuit in Mexico over use of phonetic iPhone name
The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) acquitted Apple on Thursday, in a case against Mexican company iFone. At stake was the legal rights to the phonetic use of the iPhone name. The Mexican agency ruled that only iFone's competition in the carrier business could infringe on the name. Because Apple is not a wireless operator, Apple was acquitted. But it isn't all good news for the tech titan as three carriers will have to stop promoting the iPhone by using its name. That could negatively impact sales of the handset.

The IMPI will fine Mexican carriers Telcel, Iusacell and Movistar for using the Apple iPhone moniker. Within 15 days, the three mobile operators will be forced to remove all signs, branding and promotional material that contain the iPhone name. Apple, however, will still be able to sell the iPhone through those carriers and in the country, as long as the carriers follow the ruling.

In November 2012, a court in Mexico City ruled that Apple could not use the iPhone name in the country, because it violated iFone's trademarks. The legal fight went to the Mexican Supreme Court. Apple lost that appeal as well.

Now, the latest ruling means that Apple can still use the iPhone name, even though three of its carrier partners cannot. The easiest way to workaround the ruling would be for the three carriers bound by the decision, to focus on Apple's iconic apple logo which everyone knows. If Apple feels that this ruling might damage sales in the country, it could decide to pay for the iPhone name in Mexico. There is some precedent for that as Apple did pay Chinese company Proview $60 million for the rights to the iPad name in China. The carriers affected by the ruling can appeal to the Federal Court of Fiscal and Administrative Justice.

source: MacRumors



1. ocilfa

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

iFone? Good one.

2. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Apple always take names from others... ifone, ipad, healthkit etc

3. androtaku

Posts: 246; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

lolz,classic brainless jumping droid

4. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012


8. engineer-1701d unregistered

love this looks like the world is getting annoyed with apple and no longer jumping through hoops for them. if they say something about its hurting there sales and money the mexican courts are going to say so go f your self with all your billions .

6. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

Say what you want, but it was thought of first.

9. engineer-1701d unregistered

in many countries the i in iphone means internet so this means nothing to the world.

5. dougasker

Posts: 4; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Well Apple has a tract record of taking established names and using them, "iPhone" for example was orogionally used ny Cisco.

11. baldilocks

Posts: 1494; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

'track record'

12. Droidrapist

Posts: 186; Member since: May 28, 2014

"Used" by Cisco, instead it was trademarked but NEVER used and later a settlement was reached. Cisco was never to actually USE an actual i-phone and if they ever did it would have been a waste of breath, space, and a name, and the smart phone revolution wouldn't be here.

7. wax33

Posts: 45; Member since: Apr 06, 2014

I should trademark vPhone. It's a great name and I'm sure some company will come along and want to use it. They'll have to pay me! >:D

10. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Vodafone might take umbrage with that name.

13. steedsofwar unregistered

Apple didn't innovate or invent the name for its most profit grossing product?

14. steedsofwar unregistered

They even paid for the ipad name from the Chinese? The irony of that. Murricans bash the Chinese for cloning Apple products. LOL.

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