The Wall Street Journal reports Apple has suffered a setback over the use of ‘iPhone’ naming rights in Mexico. A Mexican Supreme Court rejected Apple’s appeal after it sued the brand ‘ifone’, claiming the naming rights had expired for the Mexican company:
The dispute with the maker of iPhones originated in 2009 when Apple attempted to register its phone name in Mexico, only to be told by the Mexican Industrial Property Institute that the name was already taken.
Apple sued to have the Ifone brand revoked on grounds it had expired for the Mexican company, but a federal court found that Ifone SA, registered in 2003, was making proper use of it. The Supreme Court this week rejected Apple’s appeal against the decision at the request of Ifone.
Ifone specializes in telecommunications systems and offers software that controls VoIP. The company’s lawyer Eduardo Gallastegui told the WSJ it will continue its claims for damages resulting from Apple and three carriers in Mexico (America Movil, unit Telcel, Telefonica) that have used its name.
Just last month Apple lost the “iPhone” trademark in Brazil, as a local company ended up launching an Android phone using the name, which it registered back in 2000, seven years before the iPhone was launched.