Electronista reports Apple has lost the trademark rights to use the iPhone brand name in Mexico, after a court denied Apple injunction request on the grounds that the iPhone brand is to phonetically similar to iFone, which was registered by a Mexican company in 2003, four years before the iPhone was launched.
The decision stems from a legal action that Apple initially filed in 2009 requesting that the company cease using the iFone brand in order to head off the possibility of consumer confusion.
El Universal reports that the iFone trade name was registered in Mexico in 2003, some four years before Apple did so. Nonetheless, Apple sought unsuccessfully to gain sole control over the brand in the year after the iPhone first launched in Mexico.
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iFone – a Mexican telecommunications company selling communications systems and services countersued Apple for damages and is seeking 40 percent of iPhone sales revenue in Mexico. It has also requested the court to ban the sale of iPhone under its current name in Mexico.
It remains to be seen if Apple can appeal the ruling in a higher court or if Apple will reach a settlement with iFone to continue using the iPhone brand name in Mexico.