Apple Loses Legal Name Battle Against iFone in Mexico

Apple reportedly lost in the legal name battle against a Mexican telecommunication firm.

According to the multiple reports, Apple was denied by the court on their request to cancel the patent on the Mexican firm’s “iFone”, granting the company the right to continue using the term iFone in Mexico.

iFone lawyer Eduardo Gallart was quoted as saying: “It is the third time that Apple loses and this demonstrates the legal truth: iFone is within its full right to use its brand. All that remains is processing claims for invasion of brand. Additionally, they face a sanction of up to 20,000 days at minimum wage rate, and iFone shall be entitled to claim compensation for damage caused by the invasion of their brand. These damages may not be less than 40 per cent of the sales of iPhone services in Mexico, as provided by law.”

Three years ago, Apple filed a lawsuit against the Mexican firm, saying that the term iFone is too phonetically similar to their iPhone that could create confusion among consumers. However, the court ruled that the Mexican company already registered the iFone trademark in 2003, while Apple did not register their product until 2007.

Speaking about the decision, Australian Pod Legal solicitor director said: “Like in Mexico and the United States, the Australian Trade Marks Act provides that a registered trade mark may be removed from the Trade Marks Register if it has been registered for a continuous period of three years, and at no time during that period, the trade mark owner used the trade mark in the course of trade. Apple attempted to remove the ‘iFone’ trade mark from the Register on the basis of non-use and the owner of the ‘iFone’ trade mark was able to establish use of the trade mark (in trade). Therefore, the registered trade mark for ‘iFone’ remained on the Register.”

Apple also recently lost a patent lawsuit against Samsung after a UK court decided that Samsung did not copy the design of one of the tablets of Apple.

[Source: Herald Sun]