Apple Inc. has moved to block the application for a trademark on the name “driPhone” in New Zealand. The trademark is being pursued by Hayden Crowther of Hamilton, NZ, who developed a waterproof case for the iPhone he called driPhone. Apple has protested the trademark on concern that it could cause confusion in the market place with its own trademarked product, the “iPhone.”
driPhone’s Self-Titled Case
In filing its opposition to the trademark, Apple argued that, “the applicant’s trademark, or an essential element of it, is identical or similar to a trademark that is well-known in New Zealand [iPhone].”
According to Stuff.co.nz, Apple has asked Mr. Crowther to change the name of his product to dryPhone in order to avoid such confusion, an idea the small case maker has initially rejected out of hand. He said that he didn’t believe Apple’s protest carried much legal weight and that it would be cheaper to fight the world’s richest technology company than it would be to rebrand his own firm and its namesake case.
Apple has a history of being aggressive when protecting its trademarks, and the company has found itself embroiled in a few trademark cases around the globe. Recently, for instance, Apple found itself in the unenviable position of fighting a Chinese company for the trademark on “iPad” after it thought it had already purchased said trademark from said company.
The driPhone case claims to be, “completely dirt proof, sand proof, and waterproof,” and is available for both iPhone and some Android devices. The company also said that it has a tablet version of its case called the driTab coming.