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Apple's Mexican 'iPhone' naming rights threatened as Supreme Court upholds 'iFone" ruling

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Apple's appeal to overturn a previous ruling against its sole ownership of the "iPhone" trademark in Mexico was rebuffed on Friday, with the Mexican Supreme Court saying a local tech company holds the official rights to the "iFone" name in the country.

The decision is linked to a case first started in 2009 when Apple tried to register the "iPhone" trademark in Mexico, only to be told by the Mexican Industrial Property Institute that the name was already being used by the iFone brand, reports The Wall Street Journal.

iFone


In a subsequent suit to garner the trademark, Apple argued that iFone was not making adequate use of the moniker, a requirement to keep the naming rights from expiring. The court handling the case found the iFone was indeed making good use of the name after having registered for it in 2003, some four years before the first Apple iPhone was launched.

The Supreme Court this week shot down Apple's attempt to appeal that decision, opening the door for iFone to seek its own claims for damages associated with Apple's use of "iPhone" on three Mexican cellular providers.

The Mexican court ruling is the latest setback for Apple in Latin America after the tech giant lost exclusive rights to the "iPhone" name in Brazil last month. It was recently reported, however, that an agreement with the Brazilian company currently holding the trademark, Gradiente, could soon be reached.

As noted by the WSJ, Apple's Mexican case is different as no physical product is involved. iFone is the name of a telecommunications service. The amount of damages claimed has not yet been announced, but iFone's counsel Eduardo Gallastegui said Mexican law allows for compensation of at least 40% of sales made by rights violations.

"Our main interest is to defend our brand," he said. "Apple started the controversy, their first step was to file a lawsuit, they didn't previously approach the company."
post #2 of 30
Just call it Hay Phone!!!
post #3 of 30

Offer to buy the name?  

 

Maybe prefer to pay the cartels to handle the situation?  The cartels decide the laws in that country any way.

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post #4 of 30

So how much did the mexican company slip their Supreme Court for the ruling?  Do the judges get a percentage??

post #5 of 30

Checkbook time.

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post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

Offer to buy the name?  

Maybe prefer to pay the cartels to handle the situation?  The cartels decide the laws in that country any way.

At 40% of sales I wonder what their price will be.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #7 of 30
Just pay them in pesos.
post #8 of 30

This sounds like third world extortion and a simple way for broke countries to make some money. Everybody's trying to shake down Apple, since it is not exactly a secret that Apple has piles of cash.

 

Let the Mexicans keep their i Fone name, iPhone is nothing like i Fone.

 

What's next? Is Mexico going to forbid Apple from operating in that country because a Mexican farmer trademarked la manzana?

post #9 of 30
Quote:
"Apple started the controversy, their first step was to file a lawsuit, they didn't previously approach the company."

If true, then Apple has made an arrogant blunder.
post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


At 40% of sales I wonder what their price will be.

In pesos or dollars?  Maybe 100 million pesos.  Lol.

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post #11 of 30
But they have a space between "i" and "Fone". Totally different.

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GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #12 of 30

I don't understand you people. This is a legitimate company, with a legitimate telecom service, who registered the name years before Apple developed its phone, and they won a legitimate court case. Yet you call them extortionists, criminals or whatever. Look at yourselves first.

post #13 of 30
thay call it ifone not iphone... if anything the mexican government is trying to get free burritos..
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpvn View Post

thay call it ifone not iphone... if anything the mexican government is trying to get free burritos..

Imagine if it was reversed and someone came in after the iPhone was established and tried to create a technology business model around something called an iFone, I-Fone, or any such variant. I imagine most here would be quite against it. Everything I've seen has iFone not only being established before 2007 but also in use, and not in the shady way that Brasil's Gradiente did by releasing a product at the last minute that bear the name so it can legally maintain the trademark.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #15 of 30
Since iFone owns a class 38 telecommunications patent in Mexico and it only really affects iMessage and Facetime, Apple should just go ahead and drop the class 38 iPhone patent request and thumb their nose at iFone. I'm not sure the class 38 iPhone patent means anything for Apple anyway and a penalty on the cost of iMessage and Facetime would be $0 since it doesn't cost anything. I don't see how iFone could go after the cost of the iPhone since it isn't violating a class 38 patent.
post #16 of 30

As is always the case, Apple will make a business decision for a business issue.

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GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

This sounds like third world extortion and a simple way for broke countries to make some money. Everybody's trying to shake down Apple, since it is not exactly a secret that Apple has piles of cash.

Let the Mexicans keep their i Fone name, iPhone is nothing like i Fone.

What's next? Is Mexico going to forbid Apple from operating in that country because a Mexican farmer trademarked la manzana?

Nonsense. The company was using the 'iFone' name before Apple even started selling a phone. They have a right to protect and defend their trademark. It has nothing to do with extortion or third world countries - it's just standard business in most of the world. Before you introduce a new product, you need to ensure that you can use the product name you've selected without infringing on someone else's trademark.

Apple was free to argue that the other company wasn't using the name 'enough' to maintain the trademark, but the court says they are wrong. That's the way things work in the civilized world. Essentially the same thing in Brazil.
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post #18 of 30
Last I checked, brand names aren't generally translated or transcribed so how can they really say that iPhone and ifone are the same simply because they sound the same.

And while they registered the name in 2003 were they using it then and are they really in the same market.

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(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #19 of 30
please please READ the article :/ i am mexican and i live in mexico ive read tons about this, (I am also an apple fan) APPLE FILLED for the lawsuit not the other way arround :/. So stop your nonsense comments about third world country extortion :/ if anything it was apple taking adventage of a small company in mexico.

In their lawsuit they said ifone and iphone sound exactly the same and that the name ifone was in violation of apples iphone trademark.

It does sound the same in spanish cause in spanish the sound for ph and sound f are given to the letter f. In spanish Ph does not exist as a singled out sound. and we do not make a difference. I bet some of you have heard a mexican using both sounds indifferently.

APPLE ARGUED THE LAST IN THE LAWSUIT APPLE FILLED, and of course they lost and it was then when the iphone trademark was granted to the mexican company, and it was after that when ifone filled for a lawsuit.

And the comments about the cartels and about mexican corrupsion, yes there are cartels, and yes there is curruption here... but omg it has nothing to do with apple and the fact that ifone won is beacuse we have common sense in mexico and a lady who killed their cat in her microwave who files a lawsuit against LG because indeed there was not a sign in the instructions manual that said DANGER DO NOT INTRODUCE PETS IN IT and killed her cat, would have never won in mexico, (happend in america). In here to win a ridiculous lawsuit like that just doesnt happen... thats why apple lost when they decided to take legal action against ifone.

And if cartels have taken over entire towns in the north of my country is because of the fact that regulation laws for guns in america (specially in the south states) is, in my opinion, a joke. and (the next is not my opinion is a fact) every weapon used by the cartels has been illegally imported from the united stated. In mexico is super hard to get a gun (by legal means anyways). I would also add that my previous president was a turd that had no idea of what he was doing when he sent the army against the cartels and started a war. Its f proven war only brings more war, dead only brings more dead.

Returning to Apple... Make any comments you want to make about my country, just try not to sound so ignorant about what really happens here, and F read the article before posting the mexican company is bullying apple when it was the exact way arround :/
post #20 of 30

"I don't understand you people..."

 

Protesting gets in the way of cracking priceless Mexican jokes: cartels, paying in pesos, etc.

post #21 of 30
oh yeah so you want me to make jokes about 7/11??? do you know how many people has been killed by cartels.? how many families?? its not about drugs its about thousands of innocent people in the last 6 years! you dare making jokes about thousend of people still being killed today by the cartels?? add to that the good people in the army who is not corrupt and has been killed because of that, add entire towns and i mean towns with popullation in the hindred of thousends who are afriad of going into the street and to send their childs into school

YOU SIR HAVE NO RESPECT FOR HUMANITY AND LIFE IF YOU ARGUE THAT I AM KILLING A JOKE BY PROTESTING! AND EVEN MORE BY SAYING CARTELS CAN BE TREATED AS A JOKE

I DARE YOU TO MAKE ONE JOKE ABOUT HURRICANE KATRINA 7/11 or some other american desaster! come on if you dont care anyway why not ??

no right?

then have some respect as well for life and for your mexican neighbors who are suffering and who have lost their friends and family :/.
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by guaredo View Post

I DARE YOU TO MAKE ONE JOKE ABOUT HURRICANE KATRINA 7/11 or some other american desaster!



Do you have another American disaster you wish to mention? I'll be happy to find a joke about it for you, and if I can't I'll write a couple just for you.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by guaredo View Post

It does sound the same in spanish cause in spanish the sound for ph and sound f are given to the letter f. In spanish Ph does not exist as a singled out sound. and we do not make a difference. I bet some of you have heard a mexican using both sounds indifferently./

Yes, that's true - if you ignore the vowels.

'iPhone' is pronounced "eye fone"
'i fone' is pronounced "eee fone"

Of course, in Spanish, 'iPhone' would be pronounced with the long 'e' sound, but trademarks are normally pronounced in the way the native language pronounces them.

In the end, though, it doesn't matter. The court ruled that they're similar enough to cause confusion and the Mexican company had the trademark first, so Apple needs to either license it or reach some other deal or use a different name for the phone in Mexico.
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post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by guaredo View Post

please please READ the article :/ i am mexican and i live in mexico ive read tons about this, (I am also an apple fan) APPLE FILLED for the lawsuit not the other way arround :/. So stop your nonsense comments about third world country extortion :/ if anything it was apple taking adventage of a small company in mexico.

In their lawsuit they said ifone and iphone sound exactly the same and that the name ifone was in violation of apples iphone trademark.

It does sound the same in spanish cause in spanish the sound for ph and sound f are given to the letter f. In spanish Ph does not exist as a singled out sound. and we do not make a difference. I bet some of you have heard a mexican using both sounds indifferently.

APPLE ARGUED THE LAST IN THE LAWSUIT APPLE FILLED, and of course they lost and it was then when the iphone trademark was granted to the mexican company, and it was after that when ifone filled for a lawsuit.

And the comments about the cartels and about mexican corrupsion, yes there are cartels, and yes there is curruption here... but omg it has nothing to do with apple and the fact that ifone won is beacuse we have common sense in mexico and a lady who killed their cat in her microwave who files a lawsuit against LG because indeed there was not a sign in the instructions manual that said DANGER DO NOT INTRODUCE PETS IN IT and killed her cat, would have never won in mexico, (happend in america). In here to win a ridiculous lawsuit like that just doesnt happen... thats why apple lost when they decided to take legal action against ifone.

And if cartels have taken over entire towns in the north of my country is because of the fact that regulation laws for guns in america (specially in the south states) is, in my opinion, a joke. and (the next is not my opinion is a fact) every weapon used by the cartels has been illegally imported from the united stated. In mexico is super hard to get a gun (by legal means anyways). I would also add that my previous president was a turd that had no idea of what he was doing when he sent the army against the cartels and started a war. Its f proven war only brings more war, dead only brings more dead.

Returning to Apple... Make any comments you want to make about my country, just try not to sound so ignorant about what really happens here, and F read the article before posting the mexican company is bullying apple when it was the exact way arround :/


Basically, that person is saying that your comments are racist, xenophobic and shameful. And you know what? He's right.

 

Note: not everyone, obviously, just the ones who also insult Koh when her decisions are "korean", the English judge for living in that third world country "England", etc...

 

@SolipsismX: in the aftermath of 9/11, 9/11 jokes weren't well received in America. It's easier to make jokes once the shock and pain is absorbed.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

@SolipsismX: in the aftermath of 9/11, 9/11 jokes weren't well received in America. It's easier to make jokes once the shock and pain is absorbed.

They weren't but I don't see how healing can begin if you forbid any jokes to ever be made about a situation. Seth MacFarlane made a joke about Lincoln being shot at the Academy Awards it was a 150 years after Lincoln's murder. Still too soon?
Edited by SolipsismX - 3/16/13 at 8:08am

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpvn View Post

thay call it ifone not iphone... if anything the mexican government is trying to get free burritos..

The spelling doesn't matter. Just ask the guy who's website was mikerowesoft.com
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

The spelling doesn't matter. Just ask the guy who's website was mikerowesoft.com

I wouldn't say that the spelling doesn't matter. It's just not determinative - as your example shows.

You can get into trouble for a name that's spelled differently and sounds the same -- or a name that's spelled similarly but sounds different. For example, you couldn't use 'Aple' for a computer name even if you pronounced it 'Ay pull ee'.

Neither sound nor spelling is the determinative factor. You have to show a likelihood that the use of the allegedly infringing name would cause confusion for consumers.
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post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

The spelling doesn't matter. Just ask the guy who's website was mikerowesoft.com

You remember this one?


I feel bad for this guy.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #29 of 30

Damn, what can a guy like him do against a company like Nissan motor? He can't even use the domain names that he owns.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #30 of 30

Apple is wrong here. And they do need to reign in their legal team. If a company has the rights to iFone from 2003 and is using it, you don't sue , you can't win. The team who initiated the suit rather than a discussion should be fired. 

I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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