Apple Suffers Setback In iPhone Trademark Apple In Mexico
Apple’s appeal to overturn a previous ruling against its sole ownership of the “iPhone” trademark in Mexico was rebuffed on Friday, with the Mexican Supreme Court saying a local tech company holds the official rights to the “iFone” name in the country.
In a case of David vs. Goliath, the Mexican Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that iFone, a small IT company in Mexico City, is the rightful owner of the iPhone name in that country.
The company registered the name in 2003, four years before Apple rolled out the smartphone it dubbed the iPhone, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The case goes back to 2009, when Apple tried to register the phone brand name in Mexico and the Mexican Industrial Property Institute said it was already taken. Apple tried to take the name by suing, arguing that it had expired for iFone, but a federal court disagreed.
Ifone, based in Mexico City, specializes in server-based telecommunications systems, such as software that controls IP telephony, and is the local representative for software-based communications solutions provider AltiGen Communications Inc.
The ruling marks another setback for Apple in Latin America. A month ago, Brazilian authorities rejected Apple’s attempts to register the iPhone name because Brazilian electronics maker IGB Eletronica SA, better known by its brand name Gradiente, already owned rights to the name.
Last year Apple fought with Chinese company Proview over the rights to the iPad trademark in the country. That dispute, which threatened sales of the popular tablet, was settled last July for $60 million.
[Via LA Times]