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Apple Sued By A Japanese Company Which Owns ‘Animoji’ Trademark

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Apple Sued By A Japanese Company Which Owns ‘Animoji’ Trademark

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Legal battles just doesn’t seem to go away for Apple at the moment. The Tokyo-based company, Emonster, which owns the trademark for “Animoji” in the US, is suing Apple for using the word to name its iPhone X feature. Legal worries continue for Apple with an ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm and recently losing a lawsuit against VirnetX.

Emonster filed the suit on Wednesday in US federal court, saying,

Apple made the conscious decision to try to pilfer the name for itself.

Emonster owns an iOS app called Animoji that was launched in 2014, which lets people send emojis that are animated in a loop like GIFs. The app asks its users to compose the message in the lines of how you would format a line of code in Python or Javascript, with parentheses and brackets that separate the kinds of effects you want to add to text or emoji. The app costs US$0.99 on iTunes.

The iPhone X’s Animoji feature, meanwhile, lets people transform their face into customised moving emoji. This is done using Apple’s face recognition technology. Apple tried to put a “fun and quirky” twist on its new flagship smartphone but, this suit couls cause some troubles to the American tech giant. The lawsuit alleges that because both the Animoji app and the iPhone X feature are on Apple’s platforms, and because both involve motion animation, the court should rule one out.

According to the suit, Apple knew about Emonster’s ownership of the Animoji trademark since the app is in the Apple Store. Apple allegedly offered to buy the trademark, and when that didn’t work out, it kept using the name anyway. Emonster is seeking an undisclosed amount of money in damages and a court order to block Apple from continuing to use the name “Animoji” with immediate effect.

It is reported that Emonster has owned the trademark for Animoji since 2015, Apple filed a petition in September 2017 to cancel the trademark, so the registration is now under review. Apple said that because of a filing error, Emonster registered the trademark to a nonexistent business and therefore can’t actually own the trademark for ‘animoji’.

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Vipul Vij
Vipul Vij