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Apple Successfully Defends Itself in Tiger Direct Lawsuit

Apple Successfully Defends Itself in Tiger Direct Lawsuit

by , 12:15 PM EDT, May 16th, 2005

AppleInsider reported on Friday that Apple won a ruling from a Florida judge in the lawsuit brought against the computer maker by the retailer Tiger Direct. Judge Joan Lenard noted: "The Court finds that the [companies' trade]marks are distinctly different.

"Any given customer who cross-hops Tiger Direct and Apple, whether over the Internet or in person at their retail local stores, will be able to distinguish their respective retail outlets due to the distinctive differences in their marketplaces' appearance and messages," the judge said.

The judge also noted that granting Tiger Direct's injunction plea, which called for the immediate cessation of Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger" sales, would cause more harm to Apple than any damage inflicted on Tiger Direct by allowing sales to continue.

Tiger Direct originally asked Apple to stop using the word Tiger completely but later amended that plea by asking the company to cease its use in relation to Mac OS X. Apple's lawyers countered by claiming that the company had no intention to exploit Tiger Direct's reputation and was simply following a pattern established by the use of other big cat names for previous releases of OS X.

Apple also showed that it had registered a trademark on Tiger in 2003 while Tiger Direct had no legal claim to the word for use on computer goods. In addition, Apple submitted a survey showing that only six percent of consumers associated the word Tiger with Tiger Direct.

There is additional information in the full story at AppleInsider.

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