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Old Jun 5, 2014, 09:21 PM   #1
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Apple Acquitted in Mexican 'iPhone' Naming Lawsuit




The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) has resolved the dispute between Apple and Mexican telecommunications company iFone over the rights to the phonetic name "iPhone", acquitting Apple of any wrongdoing, reports El Universal [Google Translate].

The IMPI found that the "iPhone" trademark can only be infringed by iFone's fellow telecommunications companies. Because Apple is a hardware company and does not own a wireless network, it is not technically infringing the trademark.

Instead, the IMPI will fine Mexican telecommunications companies Telcel, Iusacell and Movistar and require them to remove "iPhone" advertising and branding from its stores within 15 days. Apple will still be allowed to sell iPhones, however.

Apple has been fighting this case since 2009, losing the court case in November 2012 and then losing an appeal in March 2013.

Article Link: Apple Acquitted in Mexican 'iPhone' Naming Lawsuit
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Old Jun 5, 2014, 09:29 PM   #2
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This guys will be millionaires soon

Apple will have to pay these guys lot of money for their brand. Promoting the iPhone brand for operators is a must. Apple can´t let this happen.
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Old Jun 5, 2014, 09:34 PM   #3
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Here is a working link with the article in english:

http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/in-eng...le--89698.html

Quote:
The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) found the "iPhone" brand as infringing on Mexico's iFone trademark, but only as it applies to telecommunications services.

However, the IMPI acquitted Apple considering that the cellular providers sell telecommunication services with the word iPhone, phonetically identical to the brand of the Mexican company iFone, registered since 2003.

For that reason, the IMPI imposed a monetary fine on local cellular companies, including Telcel, Iusacell and Movistar, while the same have 15 days to remove "iPhone" branding from all advertising materials.

With the ruling in hand, iFone can prepare civil suits to recover damages associated with the use of the iPhone brand, if any exist.

Alternatively, the Mexican cellular companies can appeal the IMPI ruling to the Federal Court of Fiscal and Administrative Justice.
As I recall from a recent article, Mexico is the seventh market by size in iPhone sales, there will probably be a few new rich bastards around.

Last edited by apparatchik; Jun 5, 2014 at 09:45 PM.
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Old Jun 5, 2014, 10:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
Instead, the IMPI will fine Mexican telecommunications companies Telcel, Iusacell and Movistar and require them to remove "iPhone" advertising and branding from its stores within 15 days. Apple will still be allowed to sell iPhones, however.
Competitors can't advertise the same third party product due to a trademark? That is one messed up legal system.
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Old Jun 5, 2014, 10:55 PM   #5
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Competitors can't advertise the same third party product due to a trademark? That is one messed up legal system.
No, it is not. It is a massive protection against trademark trolls. In Mexico you have to prove that you are actively using a name and the trademark will only be granted in the segments where it is relevant to your usage.

Those guys had a company running under that name 5 years before the first iPhone.

Apple tried to fill a trademark for that segment, which was rejected. They sued the iFone trademark holders and lost.

If anyones is Apple's fault, for thinking the world works just as the US. I'm pretty sure in the US they would be able to get the trademark easily, thanks in part to lobbying, and for the bad reputation of patent/trademark trolls. Not in Mexico tho, there aren't as many, and trademarks usually are hold by their lawful owners and operators.

Why would anyone hold a name such as iFone is anyones guess. It doesn't mean a thing in spanish, nor in english. But the law is the law, and everyone has to abide to it... yes.... even in Mexico.


EDIT: The company seems to sell software for call centers. Make sense since Phone is phonetically identical to Fone in spanish.
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Old Jun 5, 2014, 11:00 PM   #6
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Karma, right there!, Apple sued first a little company and end up loosing big time, iPhone market here is pretty decent and not being able to promote it through third party channels which is about the only option cause there are no official Apple Store's around is going to make some damage.
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Old Jun 5, 2014, 11:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laserbeam273 View Post
Competitors can't advertise the same third party product due to a trademark? That is one messed up legal system.

Not really, even though it'd sound that way the Mexican law is divided in specific segments, and they are not consequent and depending each other.
There are a lot of international companies, not just from USA, and it has to be like this in order to avoid legal trademark infringements such as this one.
What really happened is Apple assumed it could win, offering money to buy the trademark, but ifone company didn't want it to sell...

Why ifone name is beyond me....
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 12:08 AM   #8
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Well that sucks, guess we'll be seeing and hearing ads that go "Apple's new phone" instead "the new iPhone 6". Who are these iFone guys anyway...
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 12:38 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by m1kygarcia View Post
Karma, right there!, Apple sued first a little company and end up loosing big time, iPhone market here is pretty decent and not being able to promote it through third party channels which is about the only option cause there are no official Apple Store's around is going to make some damage.
Make some damage? You mean like people fighting over the new iPhone?
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 12:48 AM   #10
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U.S media outlets are making a big deal out of it, and the reality is that all carriers in mexico make their ads without the word iPhone on them just the device with the Apple logo. people aren't stupid

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by m1kygarcia View Post
Karma, right there!, Apple sued first a little company and end up loosing big time, iPhone market here is pretty decent and not being able to promote it through third party channels which is about the only option cause there are no official Apple Store's around is going to make some damage.
You are wrong there is an apple store in mexico called the apple online store www.apple.com.mx

and the unofficial stores you mention are about as official as they get because they are premium resellers, they operate under third parties but have every apple permission to sell their products. and there are countless outlets where the product is sold, best buy, premium reseller retailers, carriers etc. this is nothing

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mac00l View Post
No, it is not. It is a massive protection against trademark trolls. In Mexico you have to prove that you are actively using a name and the trademark will only be granted in the segments where it is relevant to your usage.

Those guys had a company running under that name 5 years before the first iPhone.

Apple tried to fill a trademark for that segment, which was rejected. They sued the iFone trademark holders and lost.

If anyones is Apple's fault, for thinking the world works just as the US. I'm pretty sure in the US they would be able to get the trademark easily, thanks in part to lobbying, and for the bad reputation of patent/trademark trolls. Not in Mexico tho, there aren't as many, and trademarks usually are hold by their lawful owners and operators.

Why would anyone hold a name such as iFone is anyones guess. It doesn't mean a thing in spanish, nor in english. But the law is the law, and everyone has to abide to it... yes.... even in Mexico.


EDIT: The company seems to sell software for call centers. Make sense since Phone is phonetically identical to Fone in spanish.
wrong!

fone isn't the same as phone phonetically. in Spanish it should be pronounced PHO-NEH. but we are so accustomed to english pronunciation because of our influence by the gringos that we inadvertently pronounce the same as iPhone. for example people in Spain say e-pohd (for the iPod) we say iPod just as in an english speaker. someone should take a note of this because if you can prove it doesn't sound the same phonetically the trademark can pass and it seems someone isn't doing their job properly.
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 01:28 AM   #11
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Apple did the right thing here. I'm proud of them for fighting the good fight even in Mexico.
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 02:37 AM   #12
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Shouldn't it be YoFone or YoPhone?
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 03:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by dumastudetto View Post
Apple did the right thing here. I'm proud of them for fighting the good fight even in Mexico.

Dude I too love Apple but I'm not that blind, how's trying to screw a company, (which operates 5 years before even the first iPhone )to avoid paying royalties a good fight?.
Just because they are launching a product doesn't mean we all how to bow to them, in the end they lost more than they can chew.

----------

They started it in the first place, this little company didn't even want to go to the courts, they offered them to pay a small amount for royalties.

----------

[QUOTE=apollo1444;19200497]U.S media outlets are making a big deal out of it, and the reality is that all carriers in mexico make their ads without the word iPhone on them just the device with the Apple logo. people aren't stupid

----------
Are you sure?, every time I go to the mall or one of those carrier stores, you definitely see a gigantic poster of the iPhone, with of course the phone, logo AND a big iPhone word.


You are wrong there is an apple store in mexico called the apple online store www.apple.com.mx

and the unofficial stores you mention are about as official as they get because they are premium resellers, they operate under third parties but have every apple permission to sell their products. and there are countless outlets where the product is sold, best buy, premium reseller retailers, carriers etc. this is nothing[COLOR="#808080"]

Be realistic, these iShop stores and the official Apple website only offer the unlocked model which here in Mexico cost a fortune to pay upfront, I'm sure at least 90% of the population get the iPhone through carriers, so how's that not going to hurt them?
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 11:46 AM   #14
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This is where I feel like Apple is being a douche but the courts surely should rules they aren't spelled the same and aren't in the same business so everyone gets to just operate as normal. It doesn't make sense that anyone is in the wrong here. I'm sure the ifone brand will die over time as the company realises it's easier to call themselves something else than deal with the confusion.

If it was spelt the same It would be totally different and Apple would not have a leg to stand on.
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 11:48 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by paleriderc2d View Post
Shouldn't it be YoFone or YoPhone?
you can't be that of an idiot. i mean i've heard people from other countries speak have you?
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 12:03 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by m1kygarcia View Post
Be realistic, these iShop stores and the official Apple website only offer the unlocked model which here in Mexico cost a fortune to pay upfront, I'm sure at least 90% of the population get the iPhone through carriers, so how's that not going to hurt them?
you are exaggerating beyond the imaginable...I always buy my phones from the Apple Store because i hate contracts and locked phones, there are plenty of people like myself who travel to the U.S in the holidays and like to pop in a T-Mobile sim instead of paying those ludicrous roaming prices. my latest iPhone is a golden 5S which was carrier locked because for the first time ever, i signed with the devil on a contract, i don't have issues with my carrier but i hated the fact that this iPhone was slaved by the devil, so i found out chronic unlocks, now unlocks telcel iphones and i bought one and it worked, a few days later i got a confirmation email so i restored my iPhone and got the unlock message, poped in a iusacell sim and it worked (btw chronic unlocks now offers unlock for telcel)

it doesn't cost a fortune it costs almost the same as the U.S multiply $649 x 12.89 x 1.16 (iva) = $9673 MXN which is $1000 mxn less than the apple price in the mexican store $10,599

1000 pesos is hardly a fortune buddy, and well, the iPhone is a prestigious device, just as their line of iPads and computers, it isn't a flip phone or an android phone so don't make it sound like it is impossible for people, there are people who can afford it in all parts of the planet.

I forgot to mention that premium resellers don't charge their own prices for apple products, its the same official apple price from the mx store

Last edited by apollo1444; Jun 6, 2014 at 12:46 PM.
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 01:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by javco View Post
Apple will have to pay these guys lot of money for their brand. Promoting the iPhone brand for operators is a must. Apple can´t let this happen.
Or it isn't a huge deal. People know what "we sell Apple phones" with a photo of the phones means even if the word iPhone is not on it.

What is even bigger and more important is that a governing body recognized that a trademark for a cell service etc isn't the same as one for a piece of hardware that may or may not run on that service. Trademarks are supposed to be that specific but sometimes courts etc allow more generic interpretations that negate trademarks. Nice to see that not happen.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mac00l View Post

Apple tried to fill a trademark for that segment, which was rejected. They sued the iFone trademark holders and lost.
No, Apple filed for a trademark for a different segment, which is legit, and was sued. They were acquitted because the governing group recognized that they aren't doing what iFone is and thus there is no conflict other than the actual name which in Spanish might be spelled iFone. Thus to appease this iFone company resellers can't have that work on any posters etc. Not really a huge deal since Mexicans aren't morons and they will understand what a poster that says Apple with an iPhone on it means.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by m1kygarcia View Post
Karma, right there!, Apple sued first a little company and end up loosing big time,
did you read the article. Any of the articles. about how Apple was sued. This iFone company was the aggressor, likely trying to get a few bucks out of a bigger company etc.
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 01:57 PM   #18
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Or it isn't a huge deal. People know what "we sell Apple phones" with a photo of the phones means even if the word iPhone is not on it.

What is even bigger and more important is that a governing body recognized that a trademark for a cell service etc isn't the same as one for a piece of hardware that may or may not run on that service. Trademarks are supposed to be that specific but sometimes courts etc allow more generic interpretations that negate trademarks. Nice to see that not happen.

----------



No, Apple filed for a trademark for a different segment, which is legit, and was sued. They were acquitted because the governing group recognized that they aren't doing what iFone is and thus there is no conflict other than the actual name which in Spanish might be spelled iFone. Thus to appease this iFone company resellers can't have that work on any posters etc. Not really a huge deal since Mexicans aren't morons and they will understand what a poster that says Apple with an iPhone on it means.

----------





did you read the article. Any of the articles. about how Apple was sued. This iFone company was the aggressor, likely trying to get a few bucks out of a bigger company etc.

Apple sued first, in 2009...... Plus the company was operational long before the first iPhone launched.
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 02:02 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by m1kygarcia View Post
Dude I too love Apple but I'm not that blind, how's trying to screw a company, (which operates 5 years before even the first iPhone )to avoid paying royalties a good fight?.
Just because they are launching a product doesn't mean we all how to bow to them, in the end they lost more than they can chew.
Seems they are trying to associate iFone with iPhone in advertising as seen with the picture. But try to use a picture of iPhone at extreme angles perhaps to avoid the courts saying its not recognizable as a trademark. Questionable at best.
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 03:37 PM   #20
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Ridiculous!

That means, if you're in Mexico, you can use Cixco, Mycrosoft or Inn-tel names for your electronic insurance plans because Cisco, Microsoft or Intel doesn't have that line of business. Why bother to figure out a name for your company while you can just use someone else's famous name out there and tweak a bit to make it different but sound the same. Mex IP agency is a corrupt group.

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[QUOTE=m1kygarcia;19200844]Dude I too love Apple but I'm not that blind, how's trying to screw a company, (which operates 5 years before even the first iPhone )to avoid paying royalties a good fight?.
Just because they are launching a product doesn't mean we all how to bow to them, in the end they lost more than they can chew.

----------

They started it in the first place, this little company didn't even want to go to the courts, they offered them to pay a small amount for royalties.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by apollo1444 View Post
U.S media outlets are making a big deal out of it, and the reality is that all carriers in mexico make their ads without the word iPhone on them just the device with the Apple logo. people aren't stupid

----------
Are you sure?, every time I go to the mall or one of those carrier stores, you definitely see a gigantic poster of the iPhone, with of course the phone, logo AND a big iPhone word.


You are wrong there is an apple store in mexico called the apple online store www.apple.com.mx

and the unofficial stores you mention are about as official as they get because they are premium resellers, they operate under third parties but have every apple permission to sell their products. and there are countless outlets where the product is sold, best buy, premium reseller retailers, carriers etc. this is nothing[COLOR="#808080"]

Be realistic, these iShop stores and the official Apple website only offer the unlocked model which here in Mexico cost a fortune to pay upfront, I'm sure at least 90% of the population get the iPhone through carriers, so how's that not going to hurt them?
I'm telling you this: for a country like Mexico, China or somewhere in Africa, Trade Mark is BS where you can just backdate your registration by bribing officials...sure it's so valid in those countries that you can even get a college degree without going to school at all.
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 04:23 PM   #21
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Apple will find their way out of this victorious. They’ve got experience dating back to Apple Computer versus Apple Corps. (Apple versus The Beatles).
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 04:26 PM   #22
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you can't be that of an idiot. i mean i've heard people from other countries speak have you?
Relájese. Él sólo estaba siendo sarcástico. Sin ánimo de ofender.
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 05:18 PM   #23
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Apple will find their way out of this victorious. They’ve got experience dating back to Apple Computer versus Apple Corps. (Apple versus The Beatles).
Wow! Apple = always right. Others = always wrong.
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 08:29 PM   #24
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[QUOTE=fallenjt;19203473]That means, if you're in Mexico, you can use Cixco, Mycrosoft or Inn-tel names for your electronic insurance plans because Cisco, Microsoft or Intel doesn't have that line of business. Why bother to figure out a name for your company while you can just use someone else's famous name out there and tweak a bit to make it different but sound the same. Mex IP agency is a corrupt group.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by m1kygarcia View Post
Dude I too love Apple but I'm not that blind, how's trying to screw a company, (which operates 5 years before even the first iPhone )to avoid paying royalties a good fight?.

Just because they are launching a product doesn't mean we all how to bow to them, in the end they lost more than they can chew.



----------



They started it in the first place, this little company didn't even want to go to the courts, they offered them to pay a small amount for royalties.



----------





I'm telling you this: for a country like Mexico, China or somewhere in Africa, Trade Mark is BS where you can just backdate your registration by bribing officials...sure it's so valid in those countries that you can even get a college degree without going to school at all.

Sure enough, but at least for one time and in the case of Apple, justice was served as the law implies, these ppl seriously worship Apple like there's no tomorrow, as like Apple will save your life, sorry to tell you pal but Apple only cares about your money
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Old Jun 7, 2014, 12:56 AM   #25
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Apple Acquitted in Mexican 'iPhone' Naming Lawsuit

Quote:
Originally Posted by apollo1444 View Post
you can't be that of an idiot. i mean i've heard people from other countries speak have you?

It was said in jest.

Are you that sensitive?

Last edited by paleriderc2d; Jun 7, 2014 at 02:18 AM.
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