In 2003, a Mexican telecommunications company trademarked the name “iFone,” which sounds the same as a certain handset we’ve all come to know and some of us have come to love. Apple went after iFone in 2009, attempting to have its trademark revoked under claims that it had expired and was too similar to “iPhone“. What Apple didn’t know at the time, however, was that its plans would backfire.
iFone argued that it had registered the iFone trademark years before Apple released the iPhone. As a result, the Mexican company countersued Apple for damages and tried to have an injunction put in place on the iPhone to ban its sales under that name in Mexico. The injunction didn’t happen and Apple still has two iPhone trademarks in the country.
The Mexican Supreme Court sided with iFone, upholding the decision already made by a lower court that Apple isn’t privvy to the trademark. The case in question is different than another iFone infringement legal issue ongoing with Apple and three carriers in Mexico for damages, which could end up being a substantial sum.
According to the telecommunications company’s lawyer, who spoke with the Wall Street Journal, legally the company can get at least 40-percent of the infringing sales. It is now up to Apple to make its next move, and we’ll have to wait and see how the current legal spat plays out. For now, though, the score is one for the underdog.
[via The Verge]