Feeds

Mexico to Apple: You WILL NOT use the name 'iPhone' here

We don' need no stinkin' badge lawsuits

The Power of One Infographic

Apple has lost the right to use the word "iPhone" in Mexico after its trademark lawsuit against Mexican telco iFone backfired.

Judges sitting in Mexico's 18th District Appellate Court have ruled that iFone is the only company allowed to use the "iPhone" or "iFone" brands in the North American country.

The decision marks the end of a three-year trademark battle launched by Apple in 2009. It was an unwise move. iFone registered its trademark in 2003, Apple registered iPhone in 2007. Unable to argue that iFone was too similar to iPhone, Apple lost its lawsuit. iFone then countersued and won. Apple appealed last week and was rebuffed by the court, according to newspaper El Universal.

As a result Apple lost the right to trade using the iPhone brand, and the ruling could be applied retroactively: iFone may be able to claim a cut of the profits Apple has made using the iPhone name in Mexico since it launched five years ago.

iFone's lawyer Eduardo Gallástegui told the Mexican newspaper that the next stage of the legal process will involve cheques from Apple. Here's a rough translation:

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.

Presumably Apple is going to have to reach deep into itds record-breaking profits to smooth this one over. And after this ruling, it will have few cards to play when brokering a deal with iFone to licence the trademark in future. It's not great timing, with the iPhone 5 due to arrive in Mexico later today.

Coming within a week of Apple's humiliating public apology in UK over a patent lawsuit that it lost, Apple's habit of launching aggressive lawsuits is starting to bite it on the bum. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.