Apple has lost their battle to take out an injunction against a Mexican telecommunications company called ‘iFone‘. The injunction to pre-emptively avoid any customer confusion due to the phonetically similar sounding names. Unfortunately for Apple they picked this battle most unwisely as iFone was registered as a trademark in 2003 , 4 years before the iPhone was even released.
How they thought they could win a case against a company who, within it’s own rights, is using a similar sounding name is beyond understanding. However, Apple have paid a hefty, and more than slightly ironic, price for their impertinence by getting their ‘iPhone’ trademark banned instead.
Apple filed a court order in 2009 when they launched the first iPhone in Mexico. They requested that the brand name ‘iFone‘ stopped being used to avoid any confusion between the two brands. How iFone took this is not known, but it is not hard to imagine their shock at being asked by one of the world’s largest companies to rename their brand because Apple didn’t want an iFone getting confused with and iPhone.
Apple’s battle for control over the iFone name was unsuccessful and now iFone are suing Apple for 40% of the iPhone sales revenue in Mexico as well as asking the courts to ban Apple selling the iPhone under its current name.
No news as of yet as to whether Apple will be appealing to a higher court, or if they will try to strike a deal with iFone in order to continue selling the iPhone as the iPhone .