updated 08:30 am EDT, Fri March 28, 2008
Canada iPhone TM in June
Canada will hear first findings about whether Apple can use the iPhone trademark in the country nearly one year after the handset's US debut, according to an updated filing with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. Having begun an investigation into the validity of the trademark in late February, the government body now expects an examiner's initial report on the validity of the trademark to appear by June 26th, or three days before the phone's first full year on the market in the US.
The ruling is not likely to be decisive, but may be crucial to setting a release date for the iPhone in the country. Apple has been embroiled in a trademark dispute with the Ontario telecoms firm Comwave, which filed for a trademark on the term "iPhone" in Canada months after Apple but complained that it had begun using the trademark earlier. Comwave has so far insisted that Apple either buy out the iPhone trademark or else refrain from using it in the country, citing the ubiquitousness of the cellphone brand as making it impossible to simply share the trademark.
Apple has so far declined to comment on its plans to secure the trademark.
The additional barrier of high data fees from the iPhone's likely carrier in the country, Rogers, was eliminated last month when the company launched unlimited data plans that apply to the majority of its handset lineup.