Kaylie Moise, November 2, 2012
And so the patent battles continue. One day before the iPhone is scheduled to launch in Mexico, Apple has lost an important legal battle in the country. As a result, Apple’s bid to continue selling iPhones that are called “iPhone” has been denied by a Mexico city court.
In 2003, four years before the first iPhone launched in the United States, a Mexican company called iFone registered its trade name. Although spelled differently, the Mexico city court found that since iFone and iPhone sound the exact same it could be confusing to consumers.
However, iFone is a service company and not a handset brand, like the iPhone, so it’s somewhat debatable that consumers really would get confused between the two. The Mexican company is a call center software solution expert so how consumers might confuse IT solutions with fancy gadgets is a little beyond us.
At this point, it’s not clear whether iFone will want a sales ban on Apple’s iPhone or if they’ll try to make the company pay a fee for the right to use the trade name. Our money, if you’re wondering, is on iFone expecting an easy payout.
In an attempt to avoid this legal battle, Apple had previously attempted to sue iFone in Mexico to force the company to stop using its own name. This didn’t go over very well as iFone was able to prove that it trademarked the name several years before the first iPhone arrived.
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