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Apple’s iPhone loses name battle with Mexico’s iFone

/ 06:51 AM November 05, 2012

In this Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, file photo, a staff member of Apple Inc. shows the iPhone 5 to customers at the Apple store in Hong Kong. AP FILE PHOTO

MEXICO CITY—A Mexican telecommunications firm named iFone has declared victory in a trademark battle with Apple’s iPhone, exposing the US company to a potential compensation payment.

The Mexican firm said in a statement that a court denied Apple’s bid to protect the iPhone name in a case that began in 2009, when iFone sued the California-based company because the similar-sounding names caused confusion.

Apple introduced the iPhone to the Mexican market in 2007, four years after the Mexican telecom services and systems company says it registered the name iFone.

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“It is the third time that Apple loses and this demonstrates the legal truth: iFone is within its full right to use its brand,” the statement said.

The lawyer for iFone, Eduardo Gallart, was quoted as saying in Milenio newspaper on Saturday that Apple will have to compensate the Mexican company for the use of the iPhone name.

An amount has not been decided but Gallart said the law sets a floor rate of 40 percent of the sale price of a service that is found to have violated the rules.

A message to Apple’s media relations office was not returned.

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TAGS: Apple, iFone, iPhone, Mexico, technology, trademark
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