Apple has been sued for using the term ‘Animoji’. The company has been sued by Enrique Bonansea, a U.S. citizen residing in Japan, through law firm Susman Godfrey LLP.
Bonansea says that he trademarked the term in 2014 and registered it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2015. He has been using the term for his messaging app which has been available in the iOS App Store since 2014.
Bonansea says that Apple was aware of his Animoji messaging app and even offered to purchase the trademark before the iPhone X unveiling. Apple used various shell companies with names like The Emoji Law Group LLC to purchase the trademark. He even says that he was scheduled to release an updated Animoji messaging app at the end of 2017 but had to rush and submit a new app so that the Animoji term did not end up being associated in the public mind with only the Animoji feature of the iPhone X.
Ahead of the iPhone X unveiling, Apple filed a petition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to get the Animoji trademark. The Cupertino company argued in its petition that the “emonster Inc” company which owns the Animoji trademark did not exist when the registration for the patent was initially filed.
Apple uses the Animoji term to describe the custom 3D animated emoji on the iPhone X. Animoji uses the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X to capture the user’s expression and then mimics it.
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