Court rules 'Memoji' trademark holder created app just to sue Apple

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2021
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Social Tech, creator of the "Memoji" app, had created it solely to bolster its ongoing case against Apple.




Social Tech began suing Apple in 2018, alleging that the company had infringed on its Android app of the same name.

However, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has found that Social Tech has no protectable rights regarding the use of the word "Memoji," as the company failed to use it legitimately in commerce. While the company had held the trademark on the word "Memoji" since 2016, the Memoji app was not made publicly available until 2018 -- after Apple had announced its Memoji feature.

Additionally, the Memoji app released by Social Tech had been ruled as "defective," and has been accused of being rushed solely to reserve its rights and bolster its trademark lawsuit against Apple.

Reuters noted that in 2019, U.S. district judge Vince Chhabria ruled in favor of Apple. He cited internal communications from Social Tech CEO Samuel Bonet that read, "We are lining up all of our information, in preparation for a nice lawsuit against Apple, Inc! We are looking REALLY good. Get your Lamborghini picked out!"

The ruling echoes previous findings, with the judges all pointing out that creating a faulty app does not ensure legal protections. Social Tech had previously appealed the case, claiming that a lower court had erred in judgment.

Social Tech's attorney John Pierce has stated that he would immediately begin preparing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The company maintains that it holds the rights to the Memoji trademark, arguing that Apple's use of Memoji resulted in dilution of Social Tech's Memoji trademark, unfair competition, and violation of New York General Business Law.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    Looks like this case resulted in a big payday!... for Social Tech's lawyers.
    kurai_kagetransmasterJWSCronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 9
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 1,114member
    Looks like this case resulted in a big payday!... for Social Tech's lawyers.
    Yeah, I wonder which Lamborghini THEY picked out?
    kurai_kageforegoneconclusionJWSCronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 9
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,994member
    This is funny.  

    Note to self :  keep personal car choices to myself if engaged in a lawsuit. 


    ETA: hopefully the lawyers didn't take this on contingency hoping it was a slam dunk.  Or they may be SOL too. 
    edited July 2021 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 9
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,087member
    There should be serious financial and criminal repercussions for executives that pull this kind of stunt.  They went in knowing they had no case, fabricated a product just to sue Apple and wasted the court’s time.

    I’m glad a judge saw through the BS they were throwing in the courtroom.  I’m hoping they get slapped right in the cheeks when they lose their appeal.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 9
    chadbag said:
    This is funny.  

    Note to self :  keep personal car choices to myself if engaged in a lawsuit. 


    ETA: hopefully the lawyers didn't take this on contingency hoping it was a slam dunk.  Or they may be SOL too. 
    Better still... do a No 45. Write nothing down. Don't use Email.  No evidence trail means no charges which then means no case to answer.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 9
    And if they think the SCOTUS is going to hear this case.  LMAO
    edited July 2021 ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 9
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 1,114member
    chadbag said:


    ETA: hopefully the lawyers didn't take took this on contingency hoping it was a slam dunk.  Or They may be SOL too. 
     This reads better!
    ;) 
    chadbagwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 9
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,882member
    Okay, Social Tech files a lawsuit apparently without realizing that when you file a lawsuit, you open yourself to discovery which can make you extremely vulnerable especially if you send out an email that says "We are lining up all of our information, in preparation for a nice lawsuit against Apple, Inc! We are looking REALLY good. Get your Lamborghini picked out!"  They still might get their Lamborghinis-- the Hot Wheels version.
    edited July 2021 watto_cobraBeats
  • Reply 9 of 9
    Yeah, they tried to leverage the fact Apple bought someone else’s “me emoji” (pseudo) mark, rather than Social Tech’s “me moji” (pseudo) mark. So the suit was never on strong ground, because Apple had a competing trademark that was arguably better than theirs.

    As was pointed out by PShimi in comments on an earlier article about this case, moji is 文字 in Japanese, which means “script” or “writing” — so it’s not hard to see why “me emoji” is a better trademark for Apple’s purposes and usage, especially when the same commenter accurately points out that the “e” in emoji stands for “emotion” not “electronic” — so it’s emo-ji (by itself, ji 字 means “character” or “letter”) not e-moji…

    “Me script” or “Me writing” is not a bad descriptor of Social Tech’s concept, but it is a poor descriptor of what Apple means by Memoji — “Me emoji” is a far better, more accurate trademark.
    edited July 2021 chadbagwatto_cobra
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