The Mexico Supreme Court ruled in favor of a technology services firm upholding a lower court ruling that said the company owns the brand name Ifone and has the right to use it in the country. The small company now hopes to receive a large amount of compensation from wireless operators and Apple for their use of the Ifone brand name.
The dispute started in 2009 with Apple when the Cupertino-based tech giant form the U.S. attempted to register its iPhone name in Mexico. The Industry Property Institute of Mexico told Apple that the name they were trying to register was already in use.
Apple sued the company using the name in an attempt to have the brand Ifone revoked. Apple said the brand name had expired for the firm that had originally registered it. However, a court in Mexico ruled that the original registration, done in 2003, was valid and being used in a correct manner. This week, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal of that ruling by Apple
Lawyers for Ifone said the Supreme Court ruling gives their company a right to continue with litigation it has previously submitted. The claims included damages that have resulted from three mobile service providers and Apple using the brand name. The service providers being sued include Telcel, Grupo Iusacell and Telefonica.
The latest ruling in Mexico just adds to the setbacks experienced by Apple in Latin America. In February, a Brazilian court rejected attempts by Apple to register is brand name iPhone because it ruled another electronics maker had already registered the name and prior to the five-year term running out, the company launched its own smartphone.
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