Apple’s Lost the Ability to Sell Under the iPhone Name in Mexico Thanks to Fight They Picked
Part of the whole trademark nonsense is the idea that they have to be aggressively enforced lest they be lost to the company that filed them. It’s why a number of lawsuits are filed about brand names versus slightly similar brand names, and it’s a mighty headache for small companies that get caught in the crossfire just because they happen to share a name in some way with a larger company or their product. This is the reasoning that saw Apple take on iFone, a Mexican telecommunications company. Unfortunately for Apple, they’ve lost in a big way and now won’t be able to sell phones under the iPhone name in Mexico.
What makes the whole thing even sillier is the fact that iFone was registered in the country in 2003, whereas Apple did so in 2007. That means that Apple filed four years later but somehow thought this meant they could retroactively enforce their brand on a preexisting company. They filed a lawsuit against iFone back in 2009, but they’ve essentially been on the losing side of that battle ever since.
The inevitable countersuit from iFone is what’s landed Apple in hot water. According to Electronista, iFone sought damages, which could end up amounting to 40% of iPhone sales revenue in the country, and wanted to stop the American technology giant from peddling anything under the iPhone name in Mexico. Given that a judge has just denied Apple’s injunction to continue selling under the name, it looks like iFone’s going to have their way.
This could be particularly disastrous as the iPhone 5 is set to launch, and now Apple’s hands are tied. This time, however, they only have themselves to blame.