iFone Beats iPhone?
After losing the rights to the “iphone” name in Brazil last month, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues to get bad news regarding its foreign trademarks, only this time much closer to its Cupertino home. Apple has lost its final appeal in a trademark dispute with a small IT company in Mexico that happens to be named iFone. On Friday, Mexico’s Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that confirmed iFone’s ownership rights to the iPhone name in Mexico for its telecommunication services.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Mexican company registered the name in 2003, four years before the debut of the first iPhone in 2007. In 2009, Apple attempted to register the iPhone trademark with the Mexican Industrial Property Institute and was informed that the rights were already held by the iFone company.
In a move that it probably regrets now, Apple challenged the Mexican IT company in court, claiming that its “iFone” trademark claim was expired. However, now that Mexico’s Supreme Court has ruled that the iFone company has exclusive rights to the trademark for its telecommunication services in Mexico, iFone is free to pursue compensatory damages from Apple.