In a case of David vs. Goliath, the Mexican Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that iFone, a small IT company in Mexico City, is the rightful owner of the iPhone name in that country.
The company registered the name in 2003, four years before Apple rolled out the smartphone it dubbed the iPhone, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The case goes back to 2009, when Apple tried to register the phone brand name in Mexico and the Mexican Industrial Property Institute said it was already taken. Apple tried to take the name by suing, arguing that it had expired for iFone.
Now iFone, which says its names is a combination of the word “Internet” and telephone in Spanish, is free to continue pursuing damages from Apple and three Mexican carriers for using the name.
The company was minding its own business when it suddenly found itself having to defend its brand, which Apple tried to take away, iFone’s lawyer Eduardo Gallastegui said, according to BBCMundo.com.
Gallastegui didn’t say how much iFone is claiming, but he said the law would allow iFone to go after at least 40% of the iPhone sales in Mexico, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Apple has also lost the iPhone name rights in Brazil. There, IGB Eletronica, a Brazilian electronics company, claimed it owned the rights to the name and sold a smartphone named the Iphone Neo One.
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