Apple’s Goliath took on David — and David won.
Ifone, a small Mexican communications systems and services company, beat Apple in court, after the tech giant tried to register the iPhone name in Mexico, only to be told by the Mexican Industrial Property Institute that the name was already taken.
Apple appealed but Mexico’s Supreme Court upheld the ruling that the company owns and makes proper use of the brand in the country.
Now Ifone plans to go on the offensive against iPhone, which could be a headache for Apple.
Ifone’s corporate lawyer says the company is now free to continue with its claims and could be entitled to 40 percent of iPhone sales in Mexico, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Our main interest is to defend our brand,” Eduardo Gallastegui said. “Apple started the controversy, their first step was to file a lawsuit, they didn’t previously approach the company.”
But despite the smack down from Mexico courts and Ifone, Apple still has the right to sell the iPhone in the country. It holds two separate trademarks in Mexico for the iconic product. Had Apple won this case, it would have been able to file for a third trademark covering telecommunications services, which is the type of trademark that Ifone holds, according to The Verge.
This isn’t the first iPhone imbroglio for Apple in Latin America.
Apple tried to register iPhone in Brazil but was denied because IGB Eletronica SA owned the name. The company had five years to make use of the name and just before the deadline expired released the Iphone Neo One, the LA Times reports.
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