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Man & Machine Sues Apple For "Mighty Mouse" Trademark Infringement

Man & Machine Sues Apple For "Mighty Mouse" Trademark Infringement

by , 10:55 AM EDT, May 21st, 2008

Apple Inc. picked up a new lawsuit this week, as Man & Machine, a computer peripheral company, sued Apple and CBS over Apple's use of the name "Mighty Mouse" for its Macintosh mouse. Man & Machine have been manufacturing and marketing a water and chemical resistant mouse under the same name since 2004, approximately one year before Apple introduced its own Mighty Mouse.

The lawsuit largely accuses Apple of being a bully company intent on confusing the marketplace with its use of Mighty Mouse. "Because of its size, fame, and advertising budget" M&M wrote in its complaint, "Apple's use of the Mighty Mouse trademark has and will continue to overwhelm M&M's use" of the trademark.

"Apple's use of the trademark Mighty Mouse for its computer mouse is likely to give consumers the misimpression that the larger, predatory junior user (Apple) is the source of the smaller senior user's (M&M's) goods," the company added.

If you're wondering where CBS comes in, the media company and television network licensed the name to Apple prior to the release of Apple's Mighty Mouse. The lawsuit alleges that CBS had no right to do so, despite owning the trademarks associated with the original Mighty Mouse cartoon, and that's because CBS's trademark doesn't cover computer peripherals.

M&M, however, claims to own a trademark for the Mighty Mouse name that very specifically covers, "Computer cursor control devices, namely, computer mice." The lawsuit adds that CBS filed for a trademark for Mighty Mouse that would cover computer mice, but did so "substantially" later than M&M had already done so.

The lawsuit is seeking monetary damages, and is trying to force Apple from using the name Mighty Mouse in its mouse line.

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