Name already taken by Kronos punchclock system
The US Patent and Trademark Office has blocked an Apple attempt to trademark the Touch ID technology currently used on the iPhone 5s. The ruling was made in May, but only disclosed this week. In its decision, the USPTO cites "likelihood of confusion" with a previously-registered trademark for "Kronos Touch ID." Both are biometric recognition systems, although Kronos' product is a punchclock technology used in environments like retail stores.
Claims same legal protections already obtained in US
The European Court of Justice has issued a decision granting Apple an EU trademark on the layout of its retail stores. The ruling (PDF) states that "the representation of the layout of a retail store, by a design alone, without indicating the size or the proportions, may be registered as a trade mark for services," giving the trademark scope enough to cover all of Apple's locations.
Blocks attempted against other past iWatches
A representative for Swatch says that the company will attempt to block Apple attempts to trademark the "iWatch" name, according to Watson. The Swiss watchmaker has an "iSwatch" line of watches, and claims that Apple calling its product the iWatch could cause confusion. US filings indicate that Swatch has blocked attempts by other entities to trademark "iWatch" in the past.
Apple believed to be snatching names via shell companies
Apple is using at least two shell companies to secure trademarks on future names for OS X, reports claim. On the same day in early December, two firms -- Yosemite Research LLC and Coast Research LLC -- are said to have filed for US trademarks on several California-related names. The former applied for "Yosemite," "Redwood, "and "Mammoth," while Coast pursued "California," "Big Sur," and "Pacific."
Brightflash already pursuing trademarks in dozens of countries
Apple appears to be using a shell company, "Brightflash USA LLC," to covertly register iWatch trademarks around the world, reports say. The firm is registered in Delaware, and has been tied to past trademarking efforts by Apple. The company has already requested iWatch trademarks in the US, the UK, Australia, the European Union, and Denmark. It has also filed for a trademark in dozens of other countries, ranging from smaller ones like Albania and Iceland through to China and India.
Adds to evidence of upcoming iWatch
Apple is hoping to extend international trademarks on its name into Class 14, an area covering "jewelry, clocks and watches," reports say. In late December, the company is said to have applied for Class 14 protection in Ecuador, presumably as a shortcut to getting its priority recognized in more significant regions like the US and Europe. Similar filings were made in Mexico in early January, Norway in mid-February, and the UK in March. In the latter two countries, Apple applied for protections in a variety of other classes as well.
Trademark law requires Apple aggressively defend its marks
A small-time inventor in New Zealand has accomplished something Samsung has not: he has won against Apple in court. The case revolved around Hayden Crowther's use of the name "driPhone" for his line of waterproof phone cases. Apple, obligated by trademark law to "aggressively" protect its trademarks or risk losing them, sued over the concern that consumers would think the cases were an Apple product. A New Zealand court disagreed.
Name shared with IGB Electronica
Apple has won an appeal allowing it to continue using the "iPhone" trademark in Brazil. A local company, IGB Electronica, earlier argued in court that it had exclusive Brazilian rights to the name, since it first filed for a trademark in 2000, seven years before the Apple iPhone would be announced. That trademark was granted in 2008 though, and IGB only released its Android-based Gradiente iphone in December 2012, a month before the trademark was due to expire. Nevertheless, Brazil's Institute of Industry Property recently ruled in favor of IGB, prompting the Apple appeal.
Company has won more than $11M in court victories so far
Case and accessory maker OtterBox has won another court case against a counterfeiter, gaining a $2 million verdict against S & P Trading, a New York-based company that was found guilty of selling at least 146,000 fake OtterBox cases. The company has aggressively gone after unauthorized replica makers, and in 2012 helped US Customs seize 118,000 other counterfeit items, and won other court cases against bogus product sellers for a total of nearly $11 million. OtterBox holds more than 190 patents in the US and 110 trademarks worldwide.
Decision to abandon case credited to Apple
Apple and Amazon have come to a settlement in their lawsuit over the term "app store," Reuters reports. US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton has ordered the case dismissed at the companies' request, following Apple's issuing a covenant not to sue, which in turn did away with Amazon's need to pursue a counterclaim. A lawyer for Amazon, Martin Glick, explains that "this was a decision by Apple to unilaterally abandon the case, and leave Amazon free to use 'appstore.'"
Trademark filing mentions watches, clocks that communicate with other devices
Samsung may have decided on a name for its smartwatch brand. A trademark filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office placed on June 27th this year lists the trademark "Samsung Gear," with the potential name accompanied by a substantial list of electronics and software-based goods and services it could be applied to.
May all but confirm name of upcoming smartwatch
(Update: Also applied for in Mexico, Taiwan, Turkey) Apple has applied for an "iWatch" trademark at the Japan Patent Office, according to Bloomberg. The filing was originally made on June 3, but appears to have been made public just last week. The Japanese trademark application follows ones reportedly made in Russia and Jamaica, the latter dating back to December 2012.
August 19th trial date looms
Apple and Amazon have yet to come to a settlement in the former's lawsuit over the term "app store," notes AppleInsider. The two parties were ordered to try and settle the case in January, but haven't made any progress despite multiple talks. These reportedly include an all-day meeting on May 1st, and a 45-minute phone call on June 14th.
Status of trademark still unsure
Apple has filed to register the "iWatch" product name in Russia, says local news site Izvestia.ru. The application is said to have been made under the 9th and 14th classes for the International Classification of Goods and Services. AppleInsider comments, though, that it hasn't been able to verify the registration through the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property.
Complains about speed of court system
In a brief sidetrack during his Senate testimony today, Apple CEO Tim Cook voiced his opinion on US intellectual property law. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) asked Cook about the IP benefits of running a company in the US versus other countries, but appears to have been surprised when Cook took a critical tone. "I actually think that we require much more work on IP in this country," he said.
Agency pulls objections without requiring new specimens
The US Patent and Trademark Office has withdrawn the main objections to Apple's trademark application for the iPad mini, reports say. The examiner initially rejected the application because the name was seen as descriptive, and due to the official iPad mini page, used as evidence that the product is on sale. The USPTO actually pulled the objection last Wednesday, but has only just made the news public.
Apple owns US trademark on 'EarPod,' plaintiff owns 'HearPod'
A company that makes digital hearing aids with the trademark name "HearPod" is suing Apple over its "EarPods" trademark, claiming infringement. Filed in Hawaii, the "HearPod" trademark was originally issued in 2007, five years before Apple introduced its EarPods headphones. Oddly, Randolph Divisions is suing for infringement rather than claiming any harm from consumer confusion between the two similar-sounding brands. Apple owns the US trademarks for both "EarPods" and "Apple EarPods," but Randolph Divisions owns the "earpods.com" domain name.
Failed PDA vanishes from Apple's records
Apple has abandoned claims to the Newton trademark, says Patently Apple. In searching through documents at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, the site discovered that the CIPO deactivated the Canadian Newton trademark on February 12th. While Apple could still conceivably protect and use the Newton name in the US, the Canadian and US markets are so closely intertwined that this is unlikely.
iPod credited in part to Jonathan Ive
Apple has won two new design trademarks via the US Patent and Trademark Office. The first is for the fourth-generation iPod classic, at the time still known as just the iPod. The fourth-gen, released in 2004, was the last model to be strictly music-only; later the same year the company put out the Photo, which gave the iPod a color screen and let people view images on it. It also raised capacity to 60GB. The iPod trademark is credited to Apple's lead designer, Jonathan Ive, as well as another long-time designer for the company, Chris Stringer.
Could be used as weapon against 'clone' stores
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple trademarks on the design of its retail stores, Reuters reports. Filings describe a "clear glass storefront surrounded by a paneled facade," and an interior with an "oblong table with stools...set below video screens flush mounted on the back wall." Apple first applied for the trademarks in May 2010, but only won them on January 22nd of this year.
Apple case undermined by Steve Jobs, Tim Cook
A federal court in San Francisco has granted a requested dismissal of an Apple lawsuit over Amazon's use of the term "Appstore," Bloomberg reports. Apple has filed for a US trademark on the name "App Store," and in the court case it argued that Amazon's use of the term "Appstore" is intentionally confusing. Amazon countered, though, by saying that the term "app store" has become generic; with today's dismissal, the company should be able to continue selling Android apps unimpeded.
Policy change prompted in part by Apple v. Proview dispute
The Chinese government is planning to crack down on "malicious" trademark applications, Reuters reports. A proposed amendment is expected to better protect international brands sold in the country, and give copyright owners the ability to block similar or identical trademark registrations. The change is said to have been prompted by a number of high-profile incidents, such as the confrontation between Apple and Proview over the iPad trademark.
Broad patent could potentially affect numerous products
Apple has filed for a trademark on the leaf in its logo, The Register says. The submission was made to the European Trademark Registry on December 3rd, using lawyers from a London firm called Edwards Wildman. If granted, the trademark would cover 10 different categories of products, ranging from things like computers and educational products to jewellery and shoes.
Motorcycle maker still retains some uses
Over the weekend, Apple officially acquired some of the rights to the "Lightning" name from motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson, reports say. Two trademark applications published by the European Union Patent & Trademark Office on Sunday indicate that a transfer of the rights happened on Saturday. Lightning is still technically protected until 2013, and even after that point Harley-Davidson will be able to use Lightning for assorted products.
Rare defeat for Apple legal
Apple has been denied a trademark on the orange Music icon used in iOS and elsewhere, reports say. The US Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board is this week said to have upheld an examiner's decision on the matter, arguing that Apple's logo is too similar to a trademark owned by MySpace. In 2008 a mark for an orange logo with a musical note was awarded to music tracking service iLike. MySpace bought iLike in 2009, but ended up closing the outfit earlier this year.
Could have weak case in trademark dispute
Apple is asking the Polish patent office, the UPRP, to cancel a trademark belonging to a local online grocery vendor, A.PL, reports say. An initial meeting in the legal dispute is said to have taken place on August 29th, but ended up adjourned and deferred to a later date. Polish site Telepolis suggests that if the dispute isn't settled out of court, it could take two to three years to resolve.
Apple gets on with new iPad sales in China following settlement
Apple has settled with Proview for $60 million over alleged infringement of the iPad trademark in China, according to Reuters. Apple had claimed that it was the legal owner of the iPad trademark after buying naming rights from Proview in 2009 using a shell company. Although Apple has insisted its deal included the transfer of naming rights in mainland China, Proview asserted default control of the iPad name in the region.
Parties must continue talking to avoid judgment
The Higher People’s Court of Guangdong is delaying its decision on an Apple appeal asserting ownership of the iPad trademark in China, according to Zhao Le, a spokesman for the court's foreign affairs office. Apple has long maintained that it owns the rights to the iPad trademark in mainland China, having made a deal with local owner Proview in 2009. In November, though, a lower court ruled in Proview's favor in a lawsuit, arguing that Proview's Shenzhen division was the actual owner of the mark, but hadn't been represented in the deal.
Google applies for 101 gTLDs, Amazon 76
ICANN has revealed the full list of new generic top-level domain (gTLD) submissions. Some 1,930 requests have been made, with some major parties aiming for multiple suffixes, while others are notably absent. In many instances the Internet-based land-grab involves companies trying to secure brand names and trademarks, though others are competing for generic terms, or some not-so-serious names.
Sum would fall well short of repaying Proview creditors
[Update: Proview said to have rejected the offer] The settlement offer Apple is extending to Proview is valued at $16 million, according to local reports. Earlier this week a Proview lawyer claimed that the two parties were discussing a compensation package, and that Apple had even named an amount, but at the time he declined to provide any more details. If accurate, the $16 million figure will still fall well short of the $63 million Proview owes to creditors as a part of its bankruptcy.
Apple may have already proposed settlement sum
Progress is being made in settlement talks between Apple and Proview regarding the Chinese iPad trademark lawsuit, lawyers for Proview claim. One of them, Xie Xianghui, recently spoke with China's official Xinhua news agency, and said that the two parties have discussed a compensation package. Apple has even allegedly mentioned a specific sum, but Proview has yet to agree to anything.
May aid Proview in settlement talks
Chinese government officials are currently siding with Proview in the company's iPad trademark dispute with Apple, reports suggest. The Associated Press quotes Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of the National Copyright Administration, as saying that the government considers Proview Shenzhen to be the rightful owner of the trademark. The Wall Street Journal meanwhile cites Fu Shuangjian -- the deputy director of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce -- as having a slightly different perspective.
Companies may be at detente over iPad trademark
Apple and Proview are in active settlement talks regarding their iPad trademark dispute, a lawyer for the latter party tells IDG News. Ma Dongxiao has, however, refused to offer any more details. The Higher People’s Court of Guangdong Province is currently deliberating on the case, but earlier this week recommended mediation, in keeping with Chinese law that allows for such talks before a ruling is handed down.
Reprieve will allow Apple v. Proview to continue
The Intermediate People's Court in Shenzhen has rejected a request to liquidate the assets of Proview Shenzhen, China Daily reports. One of Proview's creditors, Fubon Insurance, had previously filed several requests to have Proview's Shenzhen subsidiary liquidated. Although Proview is currently suing Apple, Fubon has argued that Proview won't make enough money to pay off its debts.
Image now almost two years old
Apple has won a trademark on the current iTunes logo from the US Patent and Trademark Office, Patently Apple remarks. An application was first submitted almost two years ago, on June 17th, 2010. The logo is now covered under five different International Classes, dealing with fields like retail, entertainment, and telecommunications.
Company steps up pressure on local vendors
Proview Shenzhen has issued an open letter to dealers and vendors in China, warning them not to sell the iPad, according to the Associated Press. The company threatens "the most severe measures" against anyone using "IPAD" or a similar trademark. This includes pursuing civil or even criminal allegations; to date Proview has only pursued a civil case against Apple in China, disregarding a separate US lawsuit.
Cites patents, rumors as reasons for action
A US company, iTV Entertainment, is preemptively pursuing Apple over the iTV name, according to a press release. "iTV Entertainment, LLC announced today that its counsel, Bart S. Fisher, had sent a letter to Apple, Inc. board director, Al Gore, suggesting that a meeting be held 'to see if an amicable and fair transaction arrangement' could be made between the parties with regard to Apple’s use of the 'iTV' mark displayed throughout their U.S. Patent No. 2011/0154394 A1 for a product that is rumored to be in development by and being planned for a possible launch in 2012," the company writes. "Apple describes its device as being 'an audio and video entertainment center'."
Could affect ongoing lawsuit against Apple
One of Proview Electronics' major creditors, Taiwan's Fubon Insurance, is taking steps to have Proview liquidated, according to Chinese media outlets. Fubon is reportedly asking for $8.68 million in debts from Proview, and has filed to have Proview declared bankrupt. An official at Shenzhen's Intermediate Court says he expects an announcement to be made "in the near future."
Says Apple frontman dodged questions
Proview has amended its California lawsuit against Apple with new claims about the latter party's alleged fraud. Newly referenced is the managing director of Farncombe International, Graham Robinson, who Proview says was instrumental in helping Apple create IP Application Development (IPAD) Limited, the firm which bought rights to the iPad trademark in December 2009. Robinson is said to have used an alias when negotiating with Proview Taiwan -- Jonathan Hargreaves -- and moreover dodged questions from Proview about the nature of IPAD's business.
UK IP Office rules no confusion between brands
UK based firm Wapple says it has won a lengthy trademark dispute with Apple, thanks to a new UK Intellectual Property Office ruling allowing it to retain its trademark. The case began in 2007, when Apple challenged Wapple's 2006 trademark application, insisting that the company was attempting to exploit confusion in naming and branding. Wapple specializes in a platform for mobile websites, apps, and marketing.
Apple claims iPad sales are 'national interest'
Lawyers for Apple and Proview exchanged heated words today in a Shanghai court hearing, according to reports from the Associated Press and Reuters. Proview is seeking a ban on iPad sales in the city as a part of its ongoing trademark dispute with Apple. "Apple has no right to sell iPads under that name," said a lawyer for Proview Shenzhen, Xie Xianghui. Proview once sold a product called the IPAD, or Internet Personal Access Device.
Promises court cases to continue
Proview is now "preparing for negotiations" with Apple, says Xie Xianghui, a lawyer representing Proview. "The court cases will continue until we reach an agreement," he adds. While Xie has declined to go into any more detail, he does claim that Apple has expressed "peaceful intentions" in the matter. Apple has yet to publicly respond to requests for comment.
Could signal escalation in Apple vs. Proview
Officials in the Chinese city of Shijiazhuang raided an unnamed Apple reseller over the weekend, reports claim. In all 45 iPad 2s are said to have been confiscated; despite the limited scope of the raid, Chinese news sources indicate that a number of other vendors have decided to hide their iPad stock rather than risk losing it. Shoppers should nevertheless still be able to buy iPad 2s from official and unofficial sources in the city.
Apology, iPad embargo among demands
A lawyer for Proview Shenzhen, Xie Xianghui, is claiming that a court in the Xicheng district of Beijing is prepared to "slap Apple with a 240 million yuan ($38 million) fine," according to the Global Times. The Xicheng district administration, though, is refusing to comment. "It is still under investigation, so no official comments on the case can be made yet," a media officer with the administration states. The China Daily meanwhile quotes Xie as also demanding an apology, and an injunction against the sale and marketing of iPads in China.
May be defensive move related to trademark change
Apple is accusing a Chinese business of infringing its logo trademarks, reports say. The company in question, Sichuan Fangguo Food, similarly uses a red apple image as its logo, although the Fangguo image is more abstract. It contains hard lines for example, and a quarter of the apple has been cut out. A pattern on the inside of the logo may have greater resemblance to LG's logo design.
Engine should remain open, name may not
Research in Motion has filed an opposition motion in Canada, attempting to block an Apple trademark application for the term "WebKit," notes Patently Apple. In the short term the move will give RIM some extra time to prepare a case, the deadline being November 22nd. Apple first filed for the application in May 2010.
Demands small firm hand over web domain
Apple is targeting multiple organizations in its bid to claim the "app store" trademark, reports say. In addition to pursuing Amahi, the company has turned its attention to The PC App Store, which describes itself as "an information source about software applications to make your PC do the things that you want it to do." Apple is demanding not only a halt on the use of the words "app store," but also that the pcappstore.com domain be handed over.
Rights only transferred on May 11th
Apple had to obtain the US "AirDrop" trademark for OS X Lion from an Android app marketer, according to Patently Apple. The latter party is Urban Airship, which continues to use the name for a service in which Android developers upload an app, receive redeem codes and distribute them to other people. The trademark was transferred on May 11th, and the change took effect June 9th.
One of Apple's oldest stores to relocate
Apple has filed for a US trademark on the term "Startup," a report notes. A Jamaican trademark was actually filed for in October 2010, most likely as a way of claiming priority when applying in the US. As the trademark would cover several categories -- retail stores, maintenance and installation of hardware and software, educational services and technical support -- the name is thought to be related to expanded training and setup services that have been in play at Apple Stores since earlier this year.
Trademark focuses on paired-bubbles Ping icon
Apple today filed for a new trademark for its Ping bubbles symbol. Patently Apple reports that Apple applied for four distinct trademarks related to the paired bubbles, each resembling conversation bubbles from a comic strip, though the Apple bubbles are more stylized. The trademark applications are filed under classes for computer software, online retail services, entertainment and educational services and online social networking services.