Apple acquitted in Mexican 'iFone' lawsuit, but local telecoms to be fined

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 2014
The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) on Thursday announced it has absolved Apple of wrongdoing in a trademark lawsuit surrounding the iPhone's infringement of a local telecommunications company marketing the phonetically identical "iFone" brand.

iFone


In its decision, the IMPI found the "iPhone" mark as infringing on Mexico's iFone trademark, but only as it applies to telecommunications services, reports El Universal.

The Mexican IP authority is imposing a monetary fine on local cellular providers that carry the iPhone, including Telcel, Iusacell and Movistar, while the same companies have 15 days to remove "iPhone" branding from all advertising materials.

Apple seems to have come away from the dispute unscathed as iFone's case targeted telecommunications companies using the iPhone name as a branding asset. Since Apple does not operate its own wireless network -- and iFone does not manufacture physical products -- the tech giant was out of the suit's scope.

In March of 2013, Mexico's Supreme Court denied an Apple bid to overturn a prior ruling that found against the company's sole ownership of "iPhone" rights. Once again, the phonetic similarities between iPhone and iFone was a sticking point.

With the ruling in hand, iFone can prepare civil suits to recover damages associated with the telcos' use of the iPhone mark, if any exist. A prior report noted that the Mexican brand may be able to squeeze out up to 40 percent of profits obtained by selling the iPhone under Mexican law.

Alternatively, the Mexican iPhone carriers can appeal the IMPI ruling to the Federal Court of Fiscal and Administrative Justice.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    With the ruling now in hand, iFone can prepare civil suits to recover damages associated with the telecoms' use of the iPhone mark. A prior report noted that the Mexican brand may be able to squeeze out up to 40 percent of profits obtained by selling the iPhone.

     

    Good way to destroy a country's infrastructure.

     

    It looks like they'll end up with less to invest in the network.

  • Reply 2 of 8
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,682member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post





    The Mexican IP authority is imposing a monetary fine on local cellular providers that carry the iPhone, including Telcel, Iusacell and Movistar, while the same companies have 15 days to remove "iPhone" branding from all advertising materials.

     

     

    Does this mean the telecoms are prohibited from advertising that they sell the iPhone? If so I wouldn’t say that Apple came out of this unscathed.

  • Reply 3 of 8
    davidwdavidw Posts: 945member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

     

    Does this mean the telecoms are prohibited from advertising that they sell the iPhone? If so I wouldn’t say that Apple came out of this unscathed.


    I think they just can't use the "iPhone" name in their advertising. They could have a photo of an iPhone and state that it's the "Apple 5s phone". 

  • Reply 4 of 8
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

    Good way to destroy a country's infrastructure.


     

    It’s… Mexico.

  • Reply 5 of 8
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    [QUOTE]Apple acquitted in Mexican 'iFone' lawsuit, but local telecoms to be fined [/QUOTE]

    acquitted? was this a criminal trial?
  • Reply 6 of 8
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    So iPhone infringes against iFone because they sound the same.
    Except it isn't since iPhone is a device and iFone only deals with telco services.
    But it is if you talk about hooking the iPhone up to a network.
    Footnote: there is no problem providing network access to an iPhone, you just can't talk about it.

    Anyone else totally confused by the thought process here? :???:
  • Reply 7 of 8
    davdav Posts: 90member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by iaeen View Post



    So iPhone infringes against iFone because they sound the same.

    Except it isn't since iPhone is a device and iFone only deals with telco services.

    But...

    ...ummm... tacos

  • Reply 8 of 8
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,342member

    Oh c'mon, like Apple needs to advertise the iPhone.

    These companies could just advertise "Apple's new phone" and everyone would know what it was. It's not like Samsung where they have 28 different models.

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