Apple Sued Over iCloud Name

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Apple’s legal team has even more to keep them busy thanks to voice over IP provider iCloud Communications and a new lawsuit alleging the Mac, iPhone and iPad maker is stepping on the smaller company’s trademarks by using the iCloud name. Apple unveiled its iCloud online services last week at its annual World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

iCloud Communications filed its lawsuit against Apple on June 9 in U.S. District Court in Arizona, according to CNET. The filing claimed that Apple’s use of the iCloud name will cause customer confusion over products, and that Apple is copying its name.

Apple sued over iCloud nameApple faces lawsuit over iCloud name

“The goods and services with which Apple intends to use the ‘iCloud’ mark are identical to or closely related to the goods and services that have been offered by iCloud Communications under the iCloud Marks since its formation in 2005,” the company stated in its lawsuit. “However, due to the worldwide media coverage given to and generated by Apple’s announcement of its ‘iCloud’ services and the ensuing saturation advertising campaign pursued by Apple, the media and the general public have quickly come to associate the mark “iCloud” with Apple, rather than iCloud Communications.”

Apple’s iCloud service, set to launch this fall, replaces MobileMe and includes calendar, contact and Web bookmark syncing, iOS device data backup, online iTunes music storage, email, document syncing and online photo storage.

Apple bought the icloud.com domain earlier this year from Xcerion ahead of WWDC, and has already filed for a trademark in the European Union.

iCloud Communications is seeking an injunction to block Apple from using the iCloud name, and is also asking the court for unspecified damages.

Comments

Tiger

Could be a close call. But Apple has ways out:

1. Buy the company and trademark name. They can afford it.
2. Change iCloud….to MyCloud. (may have to buy that one too)
3. Get even cuter and call it ThyCloud.

geoduck

iCloud Communications is a VOIP Telephony service. I suppose the argument could be made that they are in different fields so nobody could claim infringement. If it were iCloud rainmaking service I might buy that but this is another internet based service. Sorry but I got to chalk this one up to being a stupid move on Apple’s part. The company has been around since 2005, way before Apple even contemplated using the name.

Lee Dronick

How big is iCloud Communications? As Tiger said buy them out, greenback balm soothes a lot of hurts.

Also Apple has been eyeing names for a long time, who stepped on whom.

However, Apple applied for the iCloud trademark only a few days ago, at least as far as I can determine when iSearched the Trademark Office.

I found 13 requests for iCloud trademarks. 11 by Apple

Back in 2008 a Swedish company was granted a trademark for iCloud

An individual also applied for an iCloud trademark

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Cost of doing business. Nothing stupid about it. Apple can afford to make everyone in iCloud Communications a millionaire, right down to the secretary who works the front desk. iCloud Communications won’t fight this on principal. And Apple will end up paying less than it would have by actually innovating and coming up with a unique name.

Meanwhile, Apple will blatantly copy whole OS subsystems while suing companies for copying look and feel, more as a marketing exercise (“we so innovative”) than one of asserting any rights.

It’s all crappy, but it’s business. That most Apple fans only see the silver lining befuddles me.

BurmaYank

STRONG WORK, Sir Harry!

Since Xcerion AB CORPORATION SWEDEN (Serial #79056140, Registration #3744821) is the only one of those 13 parties on TESS‘s list of all those who have filed for Trademark Registration of the Word Mark, “iCloud” which has so far has been granted a registration of that Mark,

and since iCloud Communications is not even yet on on that list of 13,

I therefore don’t see how iCloud Communications has any trademark infringement case to make against any of those 13 on that list, but especially none against Xcerion AB Co.

So, I’d say, all Apple should need to do, to effectively dispose of iCloud Communications’ lawsuit against it, is merely to buy Xcerion AB Co. (or at least, pay for the right to use its iCloud trademark, if it hasn’t already done so).

geoduck

since iCloud Communications is not even yet on on that list of 13

If that’s correct, that iCloud Communications never filed for a Trademark for iCloud, I’m thinking they are SOL. Maybe Nemo could clarify this but I suspect that just because you Incorporate under a particular name it does not mean that you own the Trademark for that name.

BurmaYank

“If that?s correct, that iCloud Communications never filed for a Trademark for iCloud…”,

...it wouldn’t be the only thing they failed to successfully to file for; they also failed to get the domain name, “icloud.com” from the folks from whom Apple got it.  (So, they got stuck with “geticloud.com”, instead)

BurmaYank

... and I also haven’t yet figured out how it might be listed on the NYSE (to see which way the lawsuit news might have changed iCloud Communications’ stock value, as a clue to how shaky its lawsuit might seem to WallStreet bloodhounds/bird-dogs there).

At any rate, my searching there for “iCloud Communications” or iCloud” only came up with “AAPL”.

craigf

It certainly looks to me like Apple has purchased the right to use the iCloud trademark or has purchased the trademark outright from Xcerion.. Why else would the Correspondent address now be listed at 1 Infinite Loop?

http://www.trademarkia.com/icloud-79056140.html

PSMacintosh

It’s hard to believe that Apple’s legal dept didn’t discover this prior name use earlier and take earlier steps to solve the issue or problem.
I think it’s really poor work of Apple to pour so much marketing effort into the iCloud name without capturing it fully.  Just a waste of money at shareholders ultimate expense!  Shame to Apple legal/marketing for either lazy effort or bad executive decision making!

BurmaYank

It?s hard to believe that Apple?s legal dept didn?t discover this prior name use earlier and take earlier steps to solve the issue or problem.
I think it?s really poor work of Apple to pour so much marketing effort into the iCloud name without capturing it fully.? Just a waste of money at shareholders ultimate expense!? Shame to Apple legal/marketing for either lazy effort or bad executive decision making!

@PSMacintosh: Whatever.

Well since it looks like this thread has died, I thought maybe I could hide a nice Easter Egg here to give a serendipitous delight to some chance archive browser in the future:

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