Apple is getting into a lot of trouble lately with its iPhone branding, and now, the Mexican court has sided with a small IT Company against the trademark issue with Apple.
According to the recent court Supreme Court ruling, Apple can no longer use its iPhone branding within the country. The issue over the iPhone trademark started when Apple tried to register its trademark in Mexico. However, to their surprise the Mexican Industrial Property Institute did not allow the registration as the name was already taken. The actual problem started when Apple sued iFone SA for using their name. They filed a suit in a federal court claiming that iFone SA’s trademark rights had expired. Now, the company which was carrying on its activity in the country for the past few years came in the court to defend their name and the case had been going on for some time now. Earlier, the federal court had sided with the Mexican company as they had registered the name back in 2003 and had been making proper use of the trademark. It was quite obvious, that Apple would go one step further and file an appeal to the Supreme Court. And the recent ruling from the Supreme Court upheld the federal court’s decision and barred Apple from using iPhone branding in the country.
But Apple still retains the right to sell the iPhone in Mexico and has obtained two trademarks in this regard.
“Our main interest is to defend our brand,” Gallastegui, iFone’s lawyer said. “Apple started the controversy, their first step was to file a lawsuit, they didn’t previously approach the company.”
With this decision favoring the small company, it can now go ahead with its claim for damages from Apple and the three carriers in Mexico namely America Movil unit Telcel, Groupo lusacell and Telefonica SA. The lawyer did not elaborate on the amount of claim but added that Mexican laws allowed the company to sue for atleast 40% of the sales made by violating its trademark.
Although Apple spokesperson did not comment on the matter, the three Mexican carriers said that the issue was between Apple and iFone and had no comments on the claims on the carriers.
This is yet another setback for the smart phone giant, as just a few months back, Apple had lost its iPhone trademark in Brazil. A firm named Gradiente electronica had already registered the name back in 2000 and had launched their own branded iPhone Neo One android powered smart phone in 2012. The Brazilian court sided with the company and disallowed Apple from using the iPhone trademark in Brazil.