Trademark Lawsuit Challenges Apple's iCloud Name


Trademark Lawsuit Challenges Apple's iCloud Name
The lawyers have come out again, this time in a challenge to the iCloud name Apple gave its cloud-storage service. iCloud Communications, a VoIP provider, has sued Apple for trademark infringement. But battling behemoth Apple could bankrupt iCloud Communications, so the company is expected to accept a cash settlement.
About a week. That's how long it took for a lawsuit against Apple to emerge in the wake of its iCloud announcement at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

iCloud Communications, a Voice over Internet Protocol company, filed suit against Apple in the U.S. District Court of Arizona. The suit alleges that Apple is infringing on its trademark with the new iCloud service, along with unfair competition and injury to the VoIP company's business reputation.

In its suit, iCloud Communications is asking the court for a preliminary and permanent injunction against Apple, as well as undisclosed monetary damages and attorneys' fees. iCloud Communications claims Apple's iCloud has similarities with some of the services it provides.

Injured iCloud?

"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 suit reads.

"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 is a set of free new cloud services that work with applications on the iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store content and push it to devices. The free iCloud services include the former MobileMe, App Store and iBookstore, iCloud Backup, iCloud Storage, Photo Stream, and iTunes.

Settling Like Cisco

Apple couldn't immediately be reached for comment, but Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, said there is an assumption that iCloud Communications will do what Cisco Systems did in its iPhone trademark suit against Apple in 2007: Work out a deal.

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