While the iPhone is selling well in various parts of the world, it’s a different story in Mexico. Apple has lost a court case in Mexico that may completely ban the company from selling the iPhone in the country. The court ruled that the “iPhone” name is too phonetically similar to that of Mexican telecommunications company iFone, which registered the name in 2003.
Apple actually attempted to secure the “iFone” name in 2009, and wanted the telecommunications company to cease using the name because it sounded too similar. However, the tables were turned on Apple, and iFone claims they actually trademarked the “iFone” name four years before Apple first released the iPhone.
Because of this, iFone countersued Apple for damages, which could actually amount to a lot of money — possibly up to 40% of Apple’s iPhone sales in Mexico. iFone also demanded that an injunction be placed on the iPhone to prevent it from being sold under its current name in the country, which Apple isn’t likely to change.
Unless Apple and iFone can come to another agreement of some kind (which is not likely to happen), the Cupertino company will be forced to stop selling its iPhone in Mexico. They will mostly likely appeal the case, but the ruling stands for now. Then again, Apple may certainly attempt to reach a settlement with iFone that would enable the company to continue using the iPhone name in Mexico, but for now, we’ll have to wait and see what Apple decides to do.