Oops, there already was an "Animoji" app out there, developers take Apple to court

Oops, there already was an "Animoji" app out there, developers take Apple to court

About a month ago, we were introduced to the “most advanced facial recognition technology put on a phone” — the Apple iPhone X and its Face ID camera. And we all know that comical moment when we got to see what Apple is doing with Face ID — aside from secure phone unlocking and portrait selfies, which are a bit more serious of features, we have the Animoji — moving emoji that respond to our facial grimaces.

Turns out, however, that Animoji is already an existing app in the iOS App Store. It's a fun little texting tool that uses the classic emoji smilies, but animates them to make them pop a bit more. Now, the app's owners and developers — Enrique Bonansea and Japan-based company “emonster k.k.” — have filed a complaint against Apple with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The plaintiffs proceed to say that Apple wasn't unaware of the existence of an Animoji app — according to them, a corporation by the name of The Emoji Law Group LLC. was attempting to buy out the Animoji trademark in the Summer prior to the iPhone X launch. It is the plaintiffs' belief that said company is just a front for Apple, the latter preferring to keep things on the down-low as to avoid leaks for the future iPhone.

Emonster k.k. And Mr. Bonansea refused to sell the name, however. This hasn't stopped Apple from launching the iPhone X with the Animoji feature bearing that name, however. Just a day before the unveiling of the new phone, Cupertinians filed for a cancellation of the "Animoji" trademark. Their reason being that the original filing names the app owner to be "emonster Inc.", Washington — a company that has since dissolved. Mr. Bonansea and emonster k.k., on their end, are re-applying for a trademark, this time under the name of emonster k.k. With their current complaint, they are seeking a permanent injunction against Apple's use of "Animoji," damages, profits attributable to the mark and court fees.

So, yeah, it's a debacle...

   Animoji Complaint by Mikey Campbell on Scribd

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46 Comments

1. Or25e

Posts: 8; Member since: Oct 17, 2017

Apple should change the name to s**tmoji. it's much more appropriate.

16. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Why this frustration? It will be available for Android in 2025. Hahahahahahaha

18. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Considering what a stupid gimmick it is, I hope it's never on Android.

22. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Another frustration case... I don’t have then I don’t want (but I’m waiting the release, please do it quickly).....

24. luis.aag90

Posts: 270; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

Yeah, just like Apple users who said iPhone was good enough with small low resolution displays, big bezels and lack of wireless charging not long ago.

37. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Well, when you look at the sales numbers over the years, I guess it didn’t bother them. Besides, I have yet to see anybody really complain about the iPhone current displays in there current form. Especially the plus version. I also never really seen anyone ask for wireless charging. Outside of the car, it’s still a gimmick to me. No the bezels was the only thing that people complained about, but even that was mostly tech heads. Let’s not act like Android manufactures have been doing bezeless phones for years. It was one last year that no one bought and this year, Apple is in the game with the X. Due to release date, it’s coming out at the end of the year. That doesn’t mean that it’s behind, it just means that they always release there phone in the Fall. Apple is one company. What do you expect them to do release a phone every month just to say the released something first?

40. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

They have actually been making bezel-less phones for years. Note 4 edge, S6 edge, S7 edge, Note 7. The Note 5 basically has no size bezels. Wireless charging gimmicky? Sure it is. Some find it useful. I like in the dark just being able to just lay my phone down vs looking for the plug. Sure the connector is reversible, but its already plugged in now. As far as complaining about displays? Why do you need to complain? The Galaxy has had 1440p displays since the S6 and note 5. The S7 Edge was $800, yet claimed not to be worth it. Since the iPhone 8+ is $800+, why can't it have it? Aren't you paying enough to have it? I don't understand why you all are happy to pay more for less with a phone? Would you pay $50,000 for a Mercedes, if it didn't have power windows or doors, a moon-roof, alloy wheels, air-conditioning and all the other bells an whistles? No one complaining about power assisted brakes, but we have them. No one complained about Station-wagons, but we have SUV's now. Don't be so against something just because it took Apple years to decide to give you something, and yet with all the money they have; they half-assed it.

26. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1504; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Ya the same goes for those manual control in camera app. I don’t have then I don’t want (but I’m waiting the release, please do it quickly).....

28. Xilam unregistered

There are countless apps that do the same thing. I prefer post processing for most of the time, but you can get all the manual controls you want.

32. sissy246

Posts: 6959; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Pot calling the kettle black

39. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

No one was asking for this. I love features, whether they are useful or not. Having said that, the Animoji's are cool for kids who plays with mom phone like you do. Even though I personally don't want it, I think Apple placed it as a distraction. Why not multiple X models? My not one without the camera array? Why not include the fast charger in the box? But you are more concerned over a 3D animation that simply does what you do in front of the camera? Hahaha. How old are you dude?!

41. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

No, a case of an actuality stupid gimmick.

46. southernzombie

Posts: 352; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

Just like all the features Android has had for the last 6 or 7 years that Apple is finally getting this year.

35. you_sukk_it

Posts: 219; Member since: Apr 11, 2017

kuntamoji is what it should be called as its catered to the females.

2. mootu

Posts: 1373; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Typical Apple, take other people's hard work and then try and bury them in the courts when they get sued.

8. cmdacos

Posts: 3818; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Exactly. Not sure why this surprises anyone. It's the modus operandi.

20. gotoAndDie

Posts: 80; Member since: Jun 13, 2015

Uh, said hard work was just a 7 letter name. They didn't steal the implementation, or even the idea. Well, not this time.

23. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

At least Apple bought it, not like Samsung: steal it.

25. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1504; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

LOL who said Apple bought it?

27. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Read post 21 and then cry....

31. cmdacos

Posts: 3818; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Yep. Nothing in post 21 regarding Apple buying anything...

34. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1504; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Post 21 concludes nothing. Cry sheep cry.....

36. CHP19

Posts: 50; Member since: Jun 23, 2017

Apple didn't buy it, it tried to but failed and then arrogant as they are simply decided to use it anyway probably thinking the small developer wouldn't sue/go through the hassle. It's not the first time they did this either. Both the iPad and iPhone brand names were owned by others and Apple just went ahead and used the names anyway. Both were settled out of court later on. It's pure arrogance, nothing else.

42. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Won't as usual. Apple didn't buy it, they stole it. Just like the GUI.

3. antifanboyism

Posts: 57; Member since: Jun 20, 2017

great news PA

4. STRANG3R

Posts: 234; Member since: Sep 24, 2015

Like they stole hundreds of jailbreak tweaks

6. Nopers unregistered

Ah yes all of those patented jailbreak tweaks.

13. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1297; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Ah, yes. Apple usually claiming they invented all those jailbreak tweaks.

19. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

What does patented matter? Stealing is stealing.

5. MOTOREZOID

Posts: 121; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

Everybody wants to take Apple to court. They know they can bite something.

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