Apple’s ongoing fight to get control of the iPhone brand in Mexico is running into a bit of trouble, with El Universal and Electronista reporting today that a Mexican court denied “Apple’s injunction request on the grounds that the iPhone brand is too phonetically similar to iFone.” The iFone brand is owned by a Mexican telecommunications company that apparently registered its trademark in 2003—four years before Apple:
Apple has lost an injunction bid that would have allowed it to continue selling iPhone-branded products in Mexico…The decision stems from a legal action that Apple initially filed in 2009 requesting that the company cease using the iFone brand in order to head off the possibility of consumer confusion… Apple sought unsuccessfully to gain sole control over the brand in the year after the iPhone first launched in Mexico.
It’s a possibility this could change Apple’s plans to launch the iPhone 5 this Friday on a number of Mexican carriers, but it’s more likely the company will appeal the decision or reach a settlement with iFone. We’ll update you when we learn more.
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