On Friday, Apple Inc., lost a court battle over the ‘iPhone’ name in Mexico against a telecommunications company that has a trademark on the name iFone. The company believes that Apple’s ‘iPhone’ name is similiar sounding enough to their own that it calls for Apple to discontinue use of the name. With loss of the name, Apple may likely need to discontinue sales of the iPhone in the country as the name is an integral part of selling the device.
Apple reportedly filed for the company to discontinue use of the name iFone back in 2009 because of the fact that the name was too phonetically similar to Apple’s ‘iPhone’. According to iMore, the legal battle over the trademark dates back as far as 2003 and the the company countersued Apple this year and won the rights.
The report also notes that the Mexican company has won damages totaling over 40% of the iPhone sales in Mexico. In a worst case scenario, Apple will have to cease sales of the iPhone entirely in Mexico and can only sell it rebranded with a different name. It can be said with certainty however, that Apple will not rebrand the iPhone in any way and will likely reignite the legal battle in order to continue selling the iPhone in Mexico.