March 16, 2013
Apple has hit yet another legal snag in Latin America. This time, it comes in the form of a rejection of the company's appeal over its exclusive use of the "iPhone" name in Mexico. The Wall Street Journal reports:
The dispute with the maker of iPhones originated in 2009 when Apple attempted to register its phone name in Mexico, only to be told by the Mexican Industrial Property Institute that the name was already taken.Apparently, the name (or at least its pronunciation) was already taken by a local technology services company called iFone. The iFone trade name was registered in Mexico in 2003, four years before Apple's iPhone was launched. Apple has been trying to secure sole ownership of the iPhone name in Mexico since its handset was released there. In November last year, a judge denied an injunction that would allow Apple to keep selling its iPhone-branded products in the country. Now, following this most recent rejection of Apple's appeal, iFone is looking to receive damages from Apple and local mobile carriers. Damages could amount to 40 percent of iPhone sales in Mexico. As mentioned, this is just one of Apple's legal battles concerning the iPhone trademark in Latin America. The iDevice maker is also working to gain the exclusive rights to use the iPhone trademark in Brazil, where the name was registered by Gradient Eletronica back in 2000. A local telecommunications firm, Gradiente released its "iphone" line of Android-powered smartphones just last December.