Apple Files WIPO Claim for “iPhone5.com”

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Apple has filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to gain control over the iPhone5.com domain, tech site Fusible noted Sunday. The iPhone5.com site, launched in October 2010, currently hosts a small discussion forum of less than one hundred messages, including a thread started Sunday asking the site’s members to help it fight Apple’s takeover attempt.

Apple's iPhone5.com WIPO ClaimCase details for Apple’s iPhone5.com WIPO Claim

Apple’s last publicized request of the WIPO came in November 2011, when the company targeted seven domains featuring the iPhone trademark, including “iphone4s.com.” In that case, however, the domains in question redirected visitors to pornographic content. The iPhone5.com domain appears to have a legitimate purpose of discussing iPhone-related topics, however small its readership may be.

Apple’s action against the iPhone5.com domain is also unusual, as noted by MacRumors. The Cupertino company historically has, in an effort to avoid shedding light on future products, refrained from procuring infringing domains until after the related products’ launch. Examples include iPods.com, which Apple didn’t target until June 2011, and iPhone4.com, not sought by Apple until July 2011

It’s also possible that, in keeping with the current iPad’s designation as simply “iPad,” Apple will apply the same naming convention to the next iPhone, eschewing numerical designations altogether. In that case, Apple, by targeting and eliminating domains such as iPhone5.com, may be laying the groundwork for improved customer adoption of its new naming scheme, one that hasn’t settled with consumers and journalists just yet.

[Teaser graphic via Shutterstock.com]

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